Happy Austrian National Day!
Today, October 26th, is Nationalfeiertag, which is also known as Austrian National Day! We at the German-American Heritage Foundation want to acknowledge and celebrate this holiday due to our goal of promoting the cultural heritage of all Americans of German-speaking ancestry. So, Happy Austrian National Day!
Austrian National Day emerged from political developments after World War II. After the war ended, the country was occupied by the Allied Forces (the Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain, and France). However, on October 26th, 1955 (ten years after the end of the war), the Austrian Parliament passed a law that stated that the country would have permanent neutrality and this put an end to occupation by Allied forces. Because of this, the idea of neutrality has become a big part of Austrian Culture and is why Austrian National Day exists.
This day is celebrated in a variety of ways in the country, be it through ceremonies or festive celebrations. Some of the ways that Austria celebrates include:
- The Federal President and the Federal Minister of Defense attending a celebration at Heldenplatz (“Heroes’ Square) in Vienna
- The Federal President addressing the country in an address similar to the American “State of the Union”
- The new recruits of the Austrian Armed Forces are sworn in
- There is free and/or discounted entrance to Federal museums
Once again, to all the Austrians, Happy National Day from us here at the German-American Heritage Foundation!
(For anyone who would like more information, please go to: www.austria.org/national-day/)
By Emily Beeland