Christmas is in the air in Vienna. The Austrian capital has just switched on the lights on its giant Christmas tree located at Rathausplatz fronting the city hall.
Vienna’s Christmas tree came all the way from a forest near Bruck an der Mur in Styria, a province in Austria. The tree is said to be 100 years old and 30 metres high.
The lighting of the tree was led by Vienna Mayor Michael Haupl and his colleague from Styria, Franz Voves. The mayor expressed gratefulness over the cooperation between the city and the Austrian provinces to make the Christmas tree installation possible.
The putting up of the Christmas tree has been a yearly tradition in Vienna. Its location is where the unique Christmas markets take place with more than 140 stands offering various products from decorations, toys to sweet treats, drinks and food. Among the food visitors can enjoy there are waffles, gingerbread, toasted almonds, sweet chestnuts, baked potatoes, fried sausages and wine.
In addition to the offerings at the Rathausplatz, there are also special programs to entertain the kids. These include puppet shows, biscuit making, story readings focusing on Christmas and pony riding.
Known as the advent market, the open-air stalls here open from mid-November until the eve of Christmas on December 24. Several of these markets are spread out in the Austrian capital when the advent season starts. Some of them run until the eve of Christmas only while the others extend even after Christmas.