The Salzburg Festival season has just finished and the next celebrations are already coming up. Rupertikirtag is a fair held annually in honour of Saint Rupert, the patron saint of Salzburg, for 5 days in September.
The fair is counted among the oldest folkloric celebrations in Austria. At first glance, it might seem like a smaller version of the Bavarian Oktoberfest, but in fact, its origin lies further back in the past. The first traces of the fair stem back to the year 1331. Since then, its location has changed several times. In 1977 it was moved back to its original location around the Salzburg Cathedral and has been there ever since. Today, the fair is well known for its authenticity, as it is still characterized by historic fairground rides, customary dancing, forgotten handicraft and local cuisine. The 200-year-old carousel is definitely one of the highlights.
So, what can you expect from Rupertikirtag? Even though the celebrations are starting to attract more tourists, its visitors are still mainly locals wearing their dirndl and lederhosen. You should, therefore, drop by for at least an hour to get a taste of Austrian traditions.
Here are 5 tips on how to survive the fair:
1.) It’s packed. Always keep an eye on your children, they can get lost in the crowd very easily.
2.) Bring cash! Most of the fairground rides don’t accept credit cards.
3.) If you want to catch one of the highly-coveted tables in the beer tent, make sure to be there early enough.
4.) If you want to avoid drunk people, don’t go there on Friday and Saturday evening. Vice versa, if you’re looking for a fun night including a lot of beer, this is your time.
5.) Don’t miss out on the fireworks on Sunday evening which mark the end of the fair.