Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:52 pm Post subject: Austria: Did you Know?
"The girls have been hung in the chimney!" is an old Austrian folk saying marking the onset of Advent on St. Catherine's Day. The "girls" referred to the hams and sausages Austrian farm families once prepared in the waning days of autumn. They needed to be hung in the rafters above kitchen fires by St. Catherine's Day to ensure sufficient meat was preserved for the long winter to come.
The "girls" in this old saying also alluded to young maidens who had to bide their time and "preserve" their chastity until after Advent, since weddings were forbidden during the four weeks preceding Christmas. Prior to World War I, St. Catherine's Day was the last day for music and dancing as well. Amongst other old sayings were "Catherine stops her wheel" (spinning), "Catherine stops the dance" and "Catherine locks up the fiddles".
Last edited by Silvia on Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:58 pm Post subject: The district of Wolfsberg
The district of Wolfsberg is doubtless one of southern Austria’s most fortunate regions. Hardly anywhere else are there so many days of sun. The boundaries of the 960 km² district are virtually identical to the natural boundaries of the Lavant Valley (Lavanttal), which has always been dubbed the “Paradise of Carinthia”. It is surrounded by the Packalpe, Koralpe and Saualpe mountain ranges, bounded in the north by the Obdacher Sattel and in the south by the broad riverbed of the Drau. Life in the region reflects the north-south direction of the valley.
The valley is named after the Lavant river which has its source on the south-east slope of the Zirbitzkogel in Styria. What starts out as a tiny brook flows downwards from the deep, dark Lavant lake, passing old villages and market towns, centuries-old churches and castles, and modern industrial complexes and bridges. After 60 kilometres through the valley the Lavant ends up in the mighty River Drau at Lavamünd.
For decades, tourism has played a major role in the life of this beautiful part of Carinthia. Wolfsberg is also well-known far afield as a holiday region. In the summer, visitors come to the area for its impressive natural landscape, town life, numerous places of interest, and shopping and leisure facilities. In winter, the healthy outdoors on the magnificent Koralpe ski slopes is the incentive.
The hospitality of the local population is almost proverbial, enabling guests to feel happy and relaxed. Classy country inns, sunny pub gardens, cosy alpine huts, busy town restaurants and a plethora of cafés and shops all set great store by being of service. Nightlife is also interesting and varied at vogue bars and discos.
that the province of Carinthia, Austria – known for beautiful lakes, mountains and winter sports – was the site of the first organic farming system in the world. In 1927, a new generation of Austrian farmers saw the benefits of organic farming in creating a better, healthier lifestyle. Today Austria has the highest percentage of organically farmed land in Europe.
In the year 1900, butter was exported from a little known Austrian Dairy to the court of England. This butter, made from sour cream, was so popular with the Chefs there that they called it 'Teebutter' since most of it was used to make cookies and biscuits for the Queen's afternoon
The villages of Kitzbühel, Aurach, Reith and Jochberg are amongst the most popular holiday destinations in the province of Tyrol. Situated in the Kitzbüheler Alpen, these resorts offer the perfect conditions for high altitude training and winter sports. The allure of Kitzbühel ies in its contrasting landscape, which not only offers innumerable opportunities for sports and leisure, but is also ranked as the number one holiday resort in Austria.
May 11 - Three Chilly Saints. May 11, 12, and 13 are the feast days of Saints Mamertus, Pancras, and Gervais (or Gervatius). These three are known as the Three Chilly Saints not because they were cold during their lifetimes, but because these days are traditionally the coldest of the month. English and French folklore (and later American) held that these days would bring a late frost.
Austria's population increased in July 2008 to 8.205 million from 8.199 million in July 2007 and it was the fifth successive year that the number of new-borns was larger than the country's death rate, Statistics Austria said on Tuesday.
The exact number of new-borns in 2008 was 77,752, an increase of 2 percent from 2007. The number of deaths in 2008 was 75,083, an increase of 0.6 percent from 2007.
Statistics Austria also said the country's oldest woman will be111 this year, and the oldest man, 108.
Austrian women had their first child at an average age of 28.1,in which the non-marital birth rate was 38.8 percent in 2008, an increase of 0.6 from 2007.
The youngest mother in Austria in 2008 was 11 years old, while the oldest was a 56-year-old woman who gave birth to twins.
The youngest father was 16 years old, and the oldest, an 87-year-old man who had a child with his 21-year-old wife.
A 39-year-old woman had the largest number of children, 14.
In 2008, the oldest Austrian bride was 91. She married a man 12years younger than her. The oldest groom was 98 years old. He married a woman 50 years younger than him.
A 57-year-old woman married a 47-year-old man, both of whom had previously married eight times, Statistics Austria said.
The Hohe Tauern National Park is in the middle of the Hohe Tauern mountain range in Salzburg, Tyrol and Carinthia.
Covering 1,800 square kilometres, the park is the largest of Austria's six national parks. It is divided into a core zone where there is a complete ban on construction and a fringe zone used for forestry and mountain pastures.
The Hohe Tauern, the highest range of the Alps east of the Brenner Pass, includes the highest mountains in Austria.
The name Hohe Tauern originally meant "high passes" but came to be applied to the mountains themselves during mining there during the Middle Ages.
The first SOS Children's Village in the world was erected at Imst, in Tyrol and its 50th anniversary was celebrated in 1999. The SOS Children's Village is beautifully situated, on a hill above the small town of Imst, about 50 kms from the Tyrolean capital, Innsbruck.
There are 15 family houses at Imst, some auxiliary buildings and a Community Centre, where the office, a chapel and a large hall are housed. In the SOS kindergarten, children of the surroundings are also looked after. The older children go to the local schools at Imst. Some teenagers live at the SOS Youth Facility in Telfs. A Home for Retired Mothers was also established at the SOS Children's Village where the retired SOS mothers enjoy their retirement without losing touch with life at the SOS Children's Village.
In 1919 Austria’s dreams of becoming a champagne empire came to an end when the French insisted that only the sparkling wine made in the Champagne region could be called champagne. “The French were one of the first to protect a brand name, something that the EU is now encouraging,” says Benedikt Zacherl, the company press spokesman. Since then we have been forbidden by law from using the designation “champagne”. The production is identical; the only difference is that it is called “sparkling wine” made by the “méthode traditionnelle”.
Vienna’s oldest “traditional company” was created as a result of a well-known case of ransom in Austria, familiar to every schoolchild, although it took place over 800 years ago. The hostage was no less than Richard the Lionheart, who was taken prisoner by Duke Leopold V at the gates of Vienna. The enormous ransom demanded by the Babenberg duke amounted to 100,000 marks (equivalent to around twelve tons of silver). “This was used to make the Viennese pfennig and that’s how the first mint in Vienna started up,”
Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:47 am Post subject: Kipferl and the croissant
Known as a French delight, the croissant was in fact invented in Austria.
Kipferl and the croissant
The kipferl – ancestor of the croissant – has been documented in Austria going back at least as far as the 13th century.
The “birth” of the croissant itself can be dated with some precision to at latest 1839, when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese Bakery (“Boulangerie Viennoise”) at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. This bakery, which served Viennese specialties including the kipfel and the Vienna loaf, quickly became popular and inspired French imitators. The French version of the kipferl was named for its crescent (croissant) shape.
Source: Croissant on Wikipedia
In Austria the Thursday before Easter Sunday all church bells cease to be rung in memory of Christ's agonies. According to local folklore, the bells fly to Rome where they will participate in the resurrection joy of Easter Sunday.
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