As autumn winds down and the first frosts hit, it is a sure sign that winter is coming. Yet not everything about winter has to be cold and horrible. With the air cool and crisp and the first flakes of snow threatening, December is one of the most beautiful months to be in Europe – with Christmas markets aplenty!
Summer in Austria equals festival time! On any given weekend there’s usually something going on, be it a small, local event or a bigger, region-wide festival that completely takes over.
I have visited a number of town festivals over the last few years and although some of the bigger ones are a lot of fun, there’s nothing better than simply walking the 10 minutes to the Wolfsberg city centre when it’s our turn. Everyone in town turns out to crowd the streets, catch up with one another and party the night away. But no matter the size or the occasion, there’s definitely common elements to all.
When you think Austria, you probably think immediately of beer. Which is the right connection to make, but what you might not realise is that Austria also has a flourishing wine industry. Grüner Veltliner is the dominant white grape, producing dry whites, but there are multitudes of other varieties, from red to white to sweet to dry and beyond.
In September/October, Austria and Germany go beer and sausage crazy. I realised it was that time of the year again when I opened a piece of junk mail from a local supermarket and found it absolutely plastered with different kinds of sausage and beer.
Prom/ball season in Austria is big. It extends from November to February and on any given weekend could include a number of events in or around the surrounding towns. I feel as if I should explain a little bit here, because a prom or ball in Austria is not like one in Australia.
The annual St. Paul Mostwandernweg or ‘Cider Walk’ is held in the surrounding hills on May 1st, which is technically Austria’s Labour Day, and is therefore a public holiday. It is a pilgrimage of the alcoholic kind so it is definitely right up my alley (only in moderation, of course!).
Are Austrian work Christmas parties any different to Australian ones? I found out last year – and rest assured I’ll do a better job this year!
I was full of nervous excitement about my first Austrian work Christmas party. Excited because it was a night of eating good food, drinking and dancing, nervous because I’d only been with the company a month, and my German was not quite ready for drunken conversations.