Magazine topic: 
Life around the world
Total votes: 81

Local traditions

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by : 
HannahW

One of my favourite things about living abroad is experiencing local traditions.

I am working in Salzburg in Austria, and one thing that has really stood out to me is the traditional Austrian costume: the dirndl (a dress with a blouse underneath) for women, and lederhosen (short leather trousers) for men. Whilst I have been living here (since February) there have been two major festival days when local people have worn their traditional costumes, but Austrians wear these clothes frequently at other times too; whether at a gathering of friends or just to wander around town. It’s lovely to see a tradition that is still so alive today and it makes me wish that we had a special costume like this is England!

The first big celebration where everyone wore his or her lederhosen or dirndl was Carnival, the celebration before Lent. This festival is called Fasching in Austria, and I know that Switzerland and Germany have similar celebrations.

More recently, on May 1st, I went to a village just outside Salzburg to join in with the May Pole celebrations. This tradition is called ‘Maibaum’ (literally ‘May tree’) and started in the 16th century. All the locals were gathered together outside in their dirndl and lederhosen, drinking Austrian beer and eating traditional foods such as sausages. Even very young children were wearing the costume! Whilst we all relaxed and enjoyed ourselves in the sun, listening to a brass band, a group of men set up a very long wooden pole, made from the trunk of a tree which had been colourfully decorated. The whole process took about four hours. They used long sticks to move the enormous tree trunk very slowly into place into a hole in the ground. Occasionally the men would have a break from their hard work, and they would be given large crates of beer to refresh them in the hot sun! When finally it was in the upright position, we all clapped and cheered and the brass band played a celebratory song.

Over the last few days I have seen several other May poles like this in other villages around Salzburg. It’s nice to imagine the same tradition happening all over the country; something that started hundreds of years ago is still alive today, uniting people. 

Discussion

Do you think it is important for a country to preserve its local traditions? Which traditions do you most value in your own country? 

Comments

Elenagl's picture
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Elenagl 22 June, 2014 - 15:12

I think traditions are really important because they represent your country. In Spain we have lots of traditions that are well-know in the world.

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Andreea's picture
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Andreea 2 June, 2014 - 15:38

Yes, it;s important for a country to preserve its local traditions because it has an impact on visitor.
In my country are some traditions that makes us different from other countries. The specific dance and folk costume are the pride of Romanian people. Traditional foods begin to be known around the world.

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gutembergmoreno's picture
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gutembergmoreno 20 May, 2014 - 06:02

I am gutemberg i think that this clothes is very pretty, i think it´s a typical clothing, i would wear it to see how i look, thaks

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diebalbuena's picture
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diebalbuena 20 May, 2014 - 05:22

I think it is really important. I really love the provinces' triditional dresses. They are colourful and have really great embroidry on them, especially in Balochistan, they say it's one of the best in the world!

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manuelchanonaa's picture
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manuelchanonaa 14 May, 2014 - 04:57

This article seems very important because we know the cultures of the world, and this outfit is one of the most beautiful costumes

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HannahW's picture
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HannahW 13 May, 2014 - 09:25

You're right- Austrian traditions are similar to German traditions in many ways. I spent time in Heidelberg in Germany a few years ago and the celebrations during Lent were similar to the ones I experienced here in Salzburg. 

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Lorriee's picture
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Lorriee 12 May, 2014 - 15:29

Thouhg the XXI century brought about several changes it's heartwarming to know that there are still some traditional costumes, celebrities and almost everybody enjoyes them. I love Austria and visit this beautiful country almost every year. My favourite soda is ALMDUDLER, I've never drunk tastier in my life. :)

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HannahW's picture
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HannahW 13 May, 2014 - 09:17

I'm so glad to hear that you love Austria- I agree, it's a beautiful country. And Almdudler is a very tasty drink! While all the adults were drinking traditional Austrian beer at 'Maibaum', the children were drinking Almdudler- it seems to be the equivalent drink for children. 

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justcricketforme's picture
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justcricketforme 11 May, 2014 - 04:21

I think it is really important. I really love the provinces' triditional dresses. They are colourful and have really great embroidry on them, especially in Balochistan, they say it's one of the best in the world!

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HannahW's picture
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HannahW 13 May, 2014 - 09:22

It's always so interesting to see traditional costumes from other cultures, isn't it? They're often very colourful and eye-catching and have intricate detail like the embroidery you mentioned. 

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GerardG9's picture
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GerardG9 10 May, 2014 - 22:44

I like this article, traditions and customs of a place are very important because they represent a country or city, as in the case of Austria had the same traditions that Germany, in my opinion I think every place has a tradition that represents. :D :)

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