State holiday

26 Oct

Absolutely perfect fall weather (see below) for the Nationalfeiertag today and a record number of people in the Vienna Woods to make the most of it. What does Austria celebrate on its state holiday? Many Austrians themselves are not sure. A quick look at the German-language Wikipedia shows that it is Austria’s return to sovereign state status when the last occupying troops (Brits in the province of Carinthia) left. The Austrian parliament then immediately enacted a law ensuring Austria’s eternal neutrality, a point that is now viewed with some skepticism given Austria’s EU membership. So today Austria celebrates its sovereignty and its neutrality. True to Austrian custom there is no extra day to make up for the holiday even though it falls on the weekend. On Monday we all have to go back to work. In the meantime we get to enjoy this:

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