5 Interesting Traditions in Austria

Located in the center of Europe, Austria has been at the center of many historical events and turning points. What it is less known for is its strong tradition of cultural activities. Here are some suggestions for the culturally curious tourist. 

Transhumance 

Every year in late September, farmers in the Alpine regions drive their cattle down the majestic mountainsides where their barns nestle in the valleys below. If all goes well, the animal’s return is greeted with ceremonies and festivities. 

Ferlach’s Master Gunsmiths

For over 500 years, the finest handmade rifles have been created in Ferlach. This is the home of the traditional art of gunsmithing, renowned the world over. Eleven masters-craftsman manufacture around 200 rifles every year, with a combination of carpentry, engraving, and metalwork.  

Indigo Printing, Burgenland

Having revolutionized the European textile industry in the 1600s, indigo printing is only practiced today in one traditional workshop in Burgenland. Known for its hand-crafted designs with antique tools, both artists and fashion designers experiment with these methods and seek to collaborate. Rosa Mosa developed the leather shoe collection inspired by indigo printing.   

Hallein Salt Mine

The salt mine at Hallein is one of the oldest in the world. It has made the region prosperous for centuries, and the nearby town of Salzburg is built on its profits.  Guided tours are conducted through the mine. 

The Austrian Ball Season

Few traditions are as enthusiastically and successfully maintained as the Austrian ball. Over 400 Viennese balls are conducted every winter with over 300,000 participants.