Tag Archives: holidays

Today in the Trafik

18 Jun

Thursday was a holiday in Austria (Corpus Christi). What does that have to do today in the Trafik? More than one would think. When a holiday in Austria falls on a Thursday then many people in Vienna take a “Fenstertag” or “window day” and leave town for a four-day weekend. This leaves behind in the city people like me, who have no family to visit in, say, Salzburg, and those who have to work.

This was clearly visible in the Trafik this morning. Usually, there are a lot of people in and out on a Saturday morning. Many, like me, are picking up their newspaper to be read during a leisurely breakfast. Today only a few came in and all of them bought cigarettes but no newspapers, apparently on their way to work. Maylo and I stayed for a while and chatted with the Trafikantin, which we otherwise never get the chance to do, before wending our way home for breakfast.

I love Vienna when half the population is out of town. 🙂

Holiday greetings with haiku

24 Dec

May you all have a happy and healthy holiday season spent with as many loved ones as possible and a happier, healthier New Year!

Autumn colors coming to the Vienna Woods

23 Oct

And we have a long weekend. 🙂 October 26 is a holiday (vote in Parliament for Austrian neutrality, 1955 or something).

A haiku

3 Jun

Church bells ringing out

A Thursday morning in June

Oh, Corpus Christi

May Day or International Workers Day 2021

1 May

Things that aren’t happening that are a reminder of the pandemic: the annual May Day parades organized by the Social Democrats, a political force to be reckoned with in Vienna. Today the street outside my window is quiet. No brass bands are playing as the loyal SPÖ members make their way to the City Hall to celebrate this international day of blue-collar workers. Instead here is at least a photo of the flags I saw on our morning walk:

Subdued

12 Apr

That is the word that, for me, describes the mood in Vienna this Easter weekend. It’s common to have little traffic in Vienna at this time of year because so many people who live in Vienna go back to their hometowns to celebrate Easter with their families. This year, this kind of traveling around is being discouraged to prevent the virus traveling with people. This means that there are more residents in the city than there ordinarily would be, but we all seem to be maintaining a respectful quietness. Yesterday and perhaps today I would have expected some loud music at least, but we seem to be quite subdued.

Holiday haiku

24 Dec

Wishing all my readers a very happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year!

Vanillekipferln 2019

23 Dec

It’s been a while since I’ve written about Vanillekipferln. For anyone who has not taken my word for how important Vanillekipferln are to the Viennese at Christmas let me quote a statistic from the Kurier: 71% of Austrians think of Vanillekipferln when they think of Christmas cookies. In Vienna I suspect that percentage is even higher. (I don’t have a sense that Vanillekipferln are quite as central to Christmas in Tirol and Vorarlberg, for example.) 😉

In any case, Merry Christmas to all my readers who celebrate Christmas!

Only in Austria?

5 Jan

Austria has the reputation of being “gemütlich”–one of those words that is well-nigh impossible to translate. If you look in the dictionary, the primary suggestion is “comfortable” but “gemütlich” means much more than that. It implies, among other things, an appreciation for a slower pace of life and a preference for quality of life (if a choice must be made) over standard of living as well as for relaxation over precision.

At the same time, it’s not uncommon for Austrians to be very pragmatic in their pursuit of “Gemütlichkeit”. The image above, from today’s Kurier, informs readers of the best times to take vacation, where “best” is defined as getting the most days off while still using the fewest vacation days (and this in a country where five weeks of vacation per year is the legal minimum).

How does this work? Because Austria, unlike the U.S.A., celebrates its holidays on the day they happen, we have something called “window days” (“Fenstertage”). These are the days that fall between a holiday and a weekend. The graphic above shows where the window days fall in 2019, making it easier for people to get the most out of their vacation days.

Only in Austria?

“Guten Rutsch!” (~ “Good slide [into the New Year]!”)

31 Dec

Except that I have just read on the infoscreen of the Wiener Linien that it actually comes from a less-known meaning of the word “rutschen,” namely to travel. Bon Voyage into 2019!