Here comes the autumn with harvest festivals! Therefore, our list of unusual autumn festivities predictably opens with food festivals in one of the most famous regions of Austria – Tirol.
On September 21, a small village called Wildermieming not far from Innsbruck will celebrate the Potato Day, or Schölfelerfest, where you can enjoy baked potatoes with cheese, bacon or quark cooked by local farmers and their wives. As you may have guessed, the potatoes in this region are called Schölfeler.
On September 20 in Pertisau, September 21 in Brixental valley, Kufstein and Reith, and until September 28 in Kechlsau you can observe a traditional regional festival – cattle drive from high mountain pastures to winter stables.
On September 22, at the Alpine resort of Sölden at the very foot of the mountains, a Sheep Festival will be held. On this day, farmers will take part in the parade and exhibition, and award the most beautiful sheep with prizes. All participants of the festival will enjoy live music, dances and mountain lamb dishes served by local chefs.
On September 29, all cheese lovers must head for the 25th International Mountain Cheese Olympics in Galtür. This picturesque village will host a fair, tasting sessions and workshops of more than 100 local and visiting cheesemakers.
Being indifferent to cheese but can’t live without apples? Then make your way to Prutz, where hundreds of locals and visitors will gather on this day for the Apple Festival to taste the culinary specialties, schnapps, liquor, and of course apples.
Sweet tooth have to mark the next two events on October 5 in their calendar: a Kaiserschmarrn Festival in Neustift, dedicated to the famous Austrian omelette, and a Kiachl pastry Festival in Hall in Tirol. Okay, everything is clear with the pastry, but why omelette?.. The fact is that Kaiserschmarrn is something between a traditional omelette and a sweet pie, and can be served both as a main dish and as a dessert with cottage cheese, strawberries, sugar powder, cinnamon or berry jam. The legend has it that the Emperor of Austria Franz Joseph preferred it during the hunt over other dishes. A few years back, a new world record for the largest Kaiserschmarrn was set at this event. Who knows, maybe you will see the next one?
Do you want to attend a celebration in a big city? Then hurry up: from September 20 to 24 you can visit Salzburg for the largest local fair dedicated to St. Rupert’s Day – the patron saint of the city. It is celebrated since 14th century! Nowadays, this fair has come to resemble a mini-Oktoberfest: there you will find folk music, dances, beer and delicious food. For full immersion in the atmosphere, come in the national clothes – leather pants or dirndl.
You don’t feel like leaving Vienna? What about having a walk through it? On September 28-29, 13th Annual Vienna Wine Hiking Day will take place, with groups of people visiting vineyards and wineries of the Austrian capital, the climate of which is optimal for growing vine. Vineyards occupy almost 300 hectares of the city! If you are curious to learn more and taste local wines, then join any of the three routes developed specially for these two days.
From October 24 to November 6, visit the Viennale – International Film Festival held annually since 1960. New movies from all around the world will be presented to viewers in five locations in the capital. Ticket sales will start on October 19th.
On November 15, don’t miss the last traditional holiday of autumn, St. Leopold’s Day. This is the day of the patron saint of Austria, and you can join quite an unusual activity in the wine cellar. People climb the stairs to the top of a large 18th-century barrel and then slide down on its side. It is believed that the faster you slide down, the more luck you will have in the coming year!