New Year’s Eve Austrian traditions

There is a dazzling variety of customs across the European continent on New Year’s Eve, but today I will tell you some things about New Year’s Eve traditions in Austria.

German people call New Year’s Eve “Silvester,” in honor of Pope Sylvester I, who died on December 31, 335. According to the legend, non-believers who were around him choked on fish bones. Some superstitious people therefore state that one should avoid fish that night, or at least eat it very carefully.


If in Vienna for this time of the year, make sure to enjoy one of the bellow mentioned traditions:

  • Watch “Dinner for One” is broadcasted on 31 of December and is the most frequently repeated TV program ever.
  • Eat a small marzipan figurine
  • Give Lucky charms (ladybugs, little pigs, four-leaf clovers as a gift to your dear ones
  • Punch is a must have party drink
  • Bleigiessen, looking into the future by melting lead. More details about this tradition you can find in my previous post.
  • Join one Silvester parade in Vienna city center or Prader
  • At midnight dance the famous traditional Danube Waltz with your loved one
  • When wishing all the best for your German friends, use the “Frohes neues Jahr” (Happy New Year) expression.

Looking forward for this special night full of interesting events and traditions.

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