Atmospheric Advent in Kizbühel

8th November 2018, by Dave Watts

Kitzbühel’s Christmas Market is open from 28 November till 26 December Pic: Michael Werlberger

Kitzbühel’s Christmas Market is open from 28 November till 26 December Pic: Michael Werlberger

Kitzbühel’s car-free medieval centre – with ancient church, cobbled streets and attractively painted buildings – is a delightful and captivating place all year round.

In the run-up to Christmas it is made even more special because of the resort’s Advent celebrations. The town is adorned with lights and traditional decorations and an enchanting Christmas Market  opens from 2pm to 8pm Wednesday to Sunday from 28 November. Over 30 stalls are dedicated to delicious Tirolean specialities to try and traditional crafts to admire.

There are daily events, all with a Christmas theme. Visitors watch appearances by local choirs and music groups as they sip hot mulled wine and nibble roasted almonds. The petting zoo, with llamas, donkeys, sheep and rabbits, is very popular, as are the children’s pony rides.

The ‘Krampus’ devils appear in their hand-carved masks

The Nativity scene in the church incorporates amazing miniature people and animals. And the chimes from the church tower on the dot of 8pm signal the end of each day at Kitzbühel’s Christmas Market.

Various other special events are held around the period. 24 November is ‘Krampus’ Night, an ancient Christmas tradition where long-haired, horned devils in hand-carved masks put on a scary show and run amok.

St Nicholas (Father Christmas) arrives with his angels Pic: Michael Werlberger

On 6 December, things are much calmer when St Nicholas (Father Christmas) and his angels visit and hand out sweets to all the children.  On 12 December, the story of ‘Silent Night, Holy Night’ will be re-enacted.

‘Heavenly Advent’ at the finish area of the Hahnenkamm downhill race Pic: Michael Werlberger

Right at the finish line of the famous Hahnenkamm downhill race piste, ‘Heavenly Advent’ is set up outside the Rasmushof hotel, with lots of brightly lit Christmas trees and festive huts.

Before the celebrations each day, you get to go skiing

All this, plus Kitzbühel’s extensive slopes to explore, where on 15 December, there’ll be ‘Music on the Mountain’ in the ski huts and new skis available to test from 10am onwards.

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