Whether you want to know where you can wear your newly acquired Dirndl, or just want to experience this unique Austrian tradition first-hand, we have put together a list of events where Dirndl and Lederhosen are practically required attire.
According to her own statement Ulli Brandauer is wearing a Dirndl 300 days of the year. Ulli is the owner of Rastl Trachten, the manufactory that has created the dresses of the Austrian Dirndl Ambassadors in Sydney. Although she might be an exceptional example of how Dirndl and Lederhosen are part of everyday life in Austria, there are plenty of occasions when you see Austrians dressed in their traditional costumes. Two regions that are famous for their rich tradition of Dirndl and Lederhose are Salzburg and the Lake District.
From Dirndl processions to Dirndl diving
If you are lucky to be in those regions at the beginning of May, you will see Dirndls in every shape and colour at the festivities around the annual raising of the Maypole. The Narzissenfest(Daffodil festival) in Bad Aussee at the beginning of June is famous for its colourful processions, such as the boat procession on lake Grundlsee. The richness of colours does not only derive from the many floral decorations but also from the large number of women wearing gorgeous Dirndls. Later in the year Salzburg’s St. Rupert’s Fair is a traditional country fair on the squares surrounding Salzburg Cathedral, happening every year in September. And apart from farmers’ market, fair booths and arcades, merry-go-rounds, carousels and more spectacles for young and old you will definitely come across many Austrians in Dirndl and Lederhose. Also in September the Ausseer Kirtag takes place, which is a popular summer fair in rural Altaussee, where people come to meet friends, enjoy local music, dancing, and to show off their newest Dirndl.
One event that does not have a very long-standing tradition, but nevertheless has attained cult status in Austria is the ” Goessl Dirndlflugtag”. Initiated by the Dirndl manufactory Goessl it is a fun contest, where women of all ages, dressed in Dirndl do high diving at a lake. A jury judges the flying women in Dirndl regarding style, sportiness, outfit and originality.
From fun to festive
Apart from jovial and fun events there are some festive occasions where the dress code is Dirndl. The Jaegerball in January is one of the most beloved balls in Vienna during carnival season. It is a charity event where guests wear festive Dirndl and traditional suits. A newly established ball is the Salzburg Festspielball, taking place at the end of the Salzburg Festival and destined to become a great tradition. Aside from an opening ceremony with debutantes in Dirndl, the event features a gala dinner and a concert. At the annual Almdudler Trachtenpärchen Ball, sponsored by the iconic Austrian herbal lemonade Almdudler, the Dirndl and Lederhosen are a must-have – the more extravagant, the better.
Join our host Kelley as she enjoys her "Life in a Dirndl":