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Diverse merriment - festivals along the Danube

Celebrations are frequent, varied and much-loved along the Danube. The calendar of events is correspondingly full of sensational, enjoyable and amazing offerings for eye, ear and palate all year long for the regions between Passau and Hainburg.

In many places along the Danube, the year starts with - yes, you guessed it - the Blue Danube, the secret national anthem of Austrian. And along the Silvesterpfad, an exuberant New Year's Eve route through the historical center of Vienna and along the Prater, thousands dance their way into the New Year to the three-quarter time of waltzes by Johann Strauss. Many people find it especially romantic if fireworks are combined with the Danube waves, for instance, at the charming mid-year festivals during the summer solstice in the Wachau and in the Nibelungengau. Donau in Flammen (Danube in Flames) is a set of legendary events in Upper Austria featuring this fascinating combination of fire and water.

It is no surprise that music plays such a significant role in most festivities along the Danube as an ingredient of local cultural celebrations. In many cases, music itself is the focal point of events and an occasion for festivals of all kinds. The Donauinselfest in Vienna is a good example. It is the biggest open-air party in Europe. Every year, up to 300 bands and groups perform there, providing three million visitors with music of all styles but primarily Pop, Rock and Jazz.

These types of music also predominate at the summer concerts at Clam Castle, where international stars regularly perform in a small yet exquisite venue. Big names are showcased at the Grafenegg Festival but of a classical ilk. Renowned orchestras and the respective composer in residence assure concerts of superb quality. Brucknertage in St. Florian and donauFESTWOCHEN in the Strudengau are two other festivals that conduct a dialog between early and modern music to the delight of classical music enthusiasts.

Danube delights

Winemaking has been central to life along the Danube for centuries. This fact is reflected in the calendar of celebrations, which abounds in wine festivals from spring to late fall. For instance, the Wachauer Weinfrühling (Wachau Wine Spring) is an appealing event, where all the winemakers of the Wachau, a UNESCO World Heritage region, open the doors of their wineries to the public. During the Wiener Weinwandertage (Vienna Winehiking Tour), the gates to vineyards are flung wide open within view of the Danube and within the city limits of this international metropolis.

The mild Danube climate creates the best conditions not only for wine, but also for Wachau apricots. It is no wonder that thousands of visitors flock to the valley just for apricot blossom time and then in July to take part in the exuberant apricot festivities in Krems and in Spitz during the apricot harvest. These merry festivals show how deeply culinary enjoyment is anchored in everyday life in the regions along the Danube. This fact is also in evidence at the annual Vienna Culinary Festival in Stadtpark, where small producers and top local chefs serve regional specialties and at the Carnuntum Experience (year-round since 2016) with its numerous events revolving around wine and the region.

The different events along the Danube can often be combined quite conveniently with a cycling tour or a hike. The opening of the cycling season every year brings the first spectacular party. Called Rad Total im Donautal, it features music acts, a lineup of children's activities and local delicacies. The autumnal Legend Hike on the Donausteig with the famed storyteller Helmut Wittmann is a low-key, impressive counterpoint - as the finale to the year along the Danube as it were ...

// All events along the Danube

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