If you’re enjoying our traditions of Christmas series as much as we hope you are, then you’ll forgive us if our gaze lingers on Christmas in Austria.
At Ornamentshop.com, we marvel that this vibrant country — located thousands of miles away from the East Coast of the United States and even further from the West Coast – continues to deeply influence American Christmas traditions.
If you’ve ever wandered through an open-air Christmas market, you can say a silent thanks to Austria, for its handmade nutcrackers, spectacular ornaments and spiced punch have reached our shores.
If you’ve ever sunk your teeth into a luscious linzer torte or linzer cookies, you can tip your own pastry cap to the chefs of Austria.
And while you may not embrace the “music of the Austrian mountains” – otherwise known as yodeling – you surely must give Austria its due because it’s entirely possible that you have heard of a Christmas hymn that originated there: “Silent Night.”
Christmas in Austria
Of course, nothing about Christmas in Austria is silent, beginning with the Christkindlmarkts that fittingly began in the city of Linz and draw thousands of Austrians throughout the season.
But tortes and cookies comprise only part of Austria’s impressive pastry cart, for the country is renowned for such sweet delights as apfelstrudel (pastry filled with apples and raisins), sachertorte (a chocolate-apricot cake covered with dark chocolate icing) and weihnachtsbaeckerei (Christmas sugar cookies).
If the pronunciations prove problematic, you can always simply point and applaud, which is exactly what many Austrians do with pride as they bask in the soaring splendor of the Vienna Boys’ Choir.
They know, as we do, that telling part of the story of this spirited country at Christmastime is hardly doing it justice. And that’s why we hope you will read the entire tale about Christmas in Austria at www.ornamentshop.com/xmas_trivia/christmas_traditions_in_austria.asp.
Believe us: we’ll certainly understand if your gaze and admiration linger there for a while, too.