Customs in October 


Harvest Festival
Harvest festival and thanksgiving are celebrated differently in the regions of Austria on the first Sunday in October. In the East, for example the "Lese" or wine harvest involves many local customs. Farm markets, folk dance and feasting are common events during or just after harvest time.
The typical German, Austrian or Swiss harvest festival celebration is usually a rural with church services, a parade, music, and a country fair atmosphere. In larger cities, this event is sponsored by Protestant and Catholic churches. A typical church observance begins with a sermon and perhaps some choral singing. Afterwards the thanksgiving procession begins and complete with the presenting of the traditional “harvest crown” for the harvest queen. Later that the day, there’s more music, dancing, and typical food. In some places, there is also an evening service followed by a lantern and torch parade for the children — and even fireworks!

Erntedank
Austrian National holiday - 26th of October

This day is an annual public holiday on 26th of October which celebrates the return of Austria to independence after World War II. Austria was occupied for nearly seven years, until the end of the war. In 1945, allied troops divided Austria in into four distinct zones that were occupied by up to 700,000 allied troops. On 15th of May, the Austrian State Treaty was signed and, on 25th of October 1955, the last allied troops left Austria. Austria became independent again and was known as the Second Republic of Austria. The treaty was finalised in Vienna on 26 October 1955 with the independence being added to the Austrian Constitution.
The National Day holiday was first celebrated in 1965, ten years after the signing of the Austrian State Treaty. In Austria it is celebrated with memorial ceremonies across the country. The Federal President attends mass, government officials lay wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and concerts are held.
Patriotism and pride are very important on this day and flags are present everywhere. So it is very common in Austria to see flags hanging out of windows on this particular day. To encourage the understanding of the history of Austria, museums are free to enter on this day.

World saving day – 31rst of October
The World Savings Day was established on 31rst of October, 1924, during the 1st International Savings Bank Congress in Italy. The Italian Professor Filippo Ravizza declared this day as the "International Saving Day" on the last day of the congress.
It became a veritable tradition in certain countries. In Austria, for instance, the official mascot of saving, the so-called ‘Sparefroh’ (literally: ‘Happy Saver’) reached very high degree of brand awareness and even a street was named after him. 
Savings continue to play an important role for Austrians. That is also evident in the unabated popularity of World Savings Day. This year around 1.6 m. Austrians plan to visit their bank. On this particular day, it is common to get a little present from the bank in charge of your deposit. Especially for kids these presents are great motivators to put money into a bank at the world saving day.


Halloween - 31rst of October
Halloween may not be a traditional Austrian celebration, but virtually every Austrian knows about it. For adults as well as children, over the last decades, Halloween has become increasingly popular. It is now common to see pumpkin-faces and jack-o’-lantern decorations in Austria by mid-October.
The 31st of October is "All Saint′s Day" and a day to commemorate the dead. Halloween is not a traditional custom of Austria, but was introduced in American style a few years ago and becomes increasingly popular. Before you go to bed on Halloween night in Austria, you place bread and water on the table and light a lamp. This will welcome the dead souls back to Earth, which of course you want to do. This type of custom is rather a common practice from the older generations than the younger ones. The new generation is more used to the American Halloween. So they often disguise and roam around the houses and play “trick or treat” with the inhabitants. Most people nowadays are prepared and got a bowl full of sweets for the kids placed near the door on the 31st of October, so they avoid the punishment they would get from the kids otherwise.

Halloween Kürbis