If you want to wear your Dirndl in Austria, you really don’t need an occasion, or event to do so. While it’s true that in many cities like Vienna or Graz, people take out their Dirndl mostly for weddings and festivals, you’ll still find many Dirndl aficionados who have at least two or more in their closets: one for festive occasions, and one for more casual outings.
Of course, when you travel through Salzburg, the Salzburg Lake District, or most other rural parts of Austria, for that matter, you’ll find that the Dirndl is part of the local lifestyle. Many women in the Salzkammergut would, for example, not buy a Dirndl in a store – rather, they wear Dirndl that have been in the family for generations and take pride in the family tradition.
Here is a list of events you’ll find perfect for some serious Dirndl-spotting:
The raising of the Maypole is a accompanied by many folkloristic traditions and dances.
When: May 1, 2013
Where: several locations in Salzburg, including Aigen, the Stiegl brewery, the Open Air Museum in Grossgmain
Many Viennese flock to this popular summer fair in rural Altaussee, where people come to meet friends, enjoy local music, dancing, and to show off their newest Dirndl.
When: September 1 – September 2, 2012
Austria’s largest flower festival is held each year in Bad Aussee and on Lake Grundlsee. The highlight is a beautiful parade with floats made up entirely of white daffodils. Of course, people wear their best Dirndl for the occasion
When: June 2, 2013
Where: Bad Aussee; Grundlsee
Almdudler Trachtenpärchen Ball
Sponsored by the iconic Austrian soft drink producer Almdudler.
Dress Code: Dirndl and Lederhosen – the more extravagant, the better.
When: September 7, 2012
Where: Vienna City Hall
This is one of the most beloved balls in Vienna during carnival season. The charity event is more formal than the Almdudler Ball, and guests wear festive Dirndl and traditional suits.
When: January 28, 2013
Where: Imperial Palace, Vienna
2012 will see the first installment of what is destined to become a great Salzburg tradition. Aside from dancing and an opening ceremony with debutantes in Dirndl, the event will feature a gala dinner and concert.
When: September 1, 2012
Where: Salzburg Residence, Felsenreitschule
These fun happenings, organized by Goessl, are scheduled all over the country. The concept is similar to that of the Red Bull Flugtag – only that here, people jump into the water in their Dirndl – and the best overall performance wins. Started five years ago, these events have already acquired cult-status.
When: Throughout summer
Where: Vienna, Salzburg Lake District
Join our host Kelley as she enjoys her "Life in a Dirndl":