Advent & customs

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New Year in Upper Austria

In the city, in the castle, in the chalet

Pop the corks in Upper Austria! Here we see the New Year in with a splash of sparkling wine and a burst of dazzling fireworks. In many cities, the final night of the year carries on straight through to New Year's Day in one long, grand party.

Of course, there are other ways to spend New Year's Eve in Upper Austria too. Let a nightwatchman guide you through the narrow streets of historical town Steyr, for example, or follow in the footsteps of olden-day knights at Kreuzen Castle in the Mühlviertel region. Alternatively, you might also like to enjoy a fantastic view of Bad Ischl on the Siriuskogel.

For your short New Year break, there is a variety of options ranging from wellness and thermal spas to peaceful retreats.

New Year offers

A glimmering Twelfth Night

The "Glöckler" (bell walkers) in the Salzkammergut region

Twelfth Night is celebrated from the 5 to 6 January. In the Salzkammergut region, it is the domain of the "Glöckler" - men dressed in white who wear elaborate pieces of illuminated headwear crafted over many hours with their own two hands. Imagination has no bounds when it comes to the shape of these Glöckler head pieces: stars in a multitude of variations as well as pyramids or comets with long tails can be spotted.

When darkness falls on 5 January, the "Glöckler" gather in their groups, called "Passen". These fantastical figures go from house to house, heading for the town centre, and are quite a sight to see.

The custom originated in the town of Ebensee by Lake Traun and is on UNESCO's Immaterial Cultural Heritage list. It is preserved all over the Salzkammergut region from Lake Atter to Lake Traun and Bad Ischl, all the way to Bad Goisern and Obertraun.