Easter in Austria is one of the most critical events in a country since the majority of Austrian people follow Christian traditions. Also, the Easter period marks the beginning of the spring season. It is the season that many people go out for fun activities and visit different locations. The Easter period is an important season because it is about the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection and ascension of Christ to heaven and the sending of the holy spirit is the main foundation of the Christian faith.
If you’re planning to visit Austria during Easter, here are the customs and traditions Austrian people follow during the Easter season. So let’s prepare for it.
Ways of Celebrating Easter in Austria
Palm Sunday marks the start of a holy week or Karwoche. Traditionally, the Catholics would make large bouquets from foliage and willow twigs. These are decorated with apples and ribbons. These decorations are taken to church to commemorate the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. These are often referred to as Palmbuschen and are later placed outside homes or in the fields to protect families from diseases and thunderstorms.
In parts of Austria, easter fires are often lit the night before Easter Sunday. People meet around the fire to sing and dance, and if you would like to explore this location for some of the best easter experiences that you can get anywhere in the world. At the end of lent, you can dig into a sweet brunch made of cold cuts, horseradish, colored eggs, and sweet bread as the Austrians mark the end of lent.
A foodie lover over here? Easter is a great time to try traditional and hearty Austrian delicacies, such as Wiener schnitzel. If you happen to be in Vienna during Easter, be sure to check the best places to eat Wiener schnitzel.
If you have children and want to explore Austria, you can see the mythological Easter bunny, a traditional bunny that hides small presents, sweets, and colorful easter eggs. The children are often given a delicious cake called Osterlamm, and this is done traditionally by their godmother or godfather. Easter eggs are a major thing in Austria, and they are usually of two kinds the chocolate ones and the other ones that are used as decorations. The decorative ones are real eggs that are carefully blown beforehand therefore, they have a hollow shell. They are then painted and decorated and hung on plants, bunches of twigs, and any other area.
Explore Traditional Easter Markets
Austria is not just famous for the flashy and unique Christmas markets, but it also has lovely easter markets that you can enjoy live music and purchase some regional goodies in the region. Vienna’s easter market is located at Schönbrunn Palace and Freyung, and these markets are also known for the craft that they offer to the kids. If you are in Vienna during the Easter period, you can get a chance to enjoy musical highlights at the OsterKlang series of concerts and operas at the local theaters as well.
The Franziskanerplatz Easter Market in Graz is a perfect place that you can visit for regional meat, cheese, and schnapps. If you are looking for traditional gift items, you should go to the easter handicraft market located in Hauptplatz. Salzburg’s Easter festival begins every Saturday before Palm Sunday, and it ends on Easter Monday. You can enjoy some of the exceptional pieces and traditions in the area, among other aspects of the local people, to get the best value for your money.
Further reading: Explore Vienna in December
The Salzburg traditional easter market is usually held in an open-air museum, and it is a place that you should try out tying the Palmbuschen bougets, decorate eggs, and fill your Easter basket with bacon, butter, eggs, ham, sausages, candles, and homemade bread. All the products are usually from the local farmers, and you will be using locally available materials to do the work.
The Villach easter market is an exceptional area that you can purchase gift items and souvenirs. Besides, it has traditional easter handicrafts such as decorative candles, and you can try to buy products such as sausages and ham.
Traditions & Customs of Easter in Austria
Here are the customs that are popular in Austria and around eastern Europe. We have listed them in order so that you can follow this schedule if you are in Salzburg during Easter.
Palm Sunday is usually the first day of the holy week, and it features a pleasant vibe as people celebrate the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem. People usually put the palm branches in front of them on the street which serves as the path for Jesus. Many people in the country go to church to have their palm bushes blessed.
It is said that on Maundy Thursday, it was the day of the last supper, and Judas betrayed Christ. On this day, church bells do not ring, and they only ring on Sunday with the resurrection. Therefore, when you are in Salzburg during easter week, and you do not hear church bells, it is Thursday. The Austrians call it Gründonnerstag, and since it is a green Thursday, you will find many people enjoying spinach, among other delicacies.
Forbidden food during Friday
On Karfreitag, it is the day of crucifixion, and it is usually the day of mourning since people have been fasting during the lent period. Since this is a couple of days before lent elapses, people are fasting even more strictly. They will consume one full meal, no meat, sweets, no alcohol, and other pleasures.
Easter painted eggs
On Saturday, when people are about to breakfast but are still grieving, they will prepare food for the next day and bring it to the church where it is blessed. The food usually includes easter lamb and colored eggs. A lamb is used to represent the sacrifice that Christ made.
Easter shopping in Salzburg
You might be looking for a way of spending your easter period, and one of the possible ways is shopping in Salzburg. You can spend your time shopping in Salzburg and explore the easter markets in the area.
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Have you ever had a chance to celebrate Easter in Austria? Share your experiences below.