Rituals and typical customs around Christmas
It is the many customs around Advent and Christmas that make the most beautiful time of the year really what it is: a time of contemplation and finding calm, a time for the family and for stories. In Advent on the Arlberg you can experience how this time of the year is traditionally spent in the regions of Tyrol and Vorarlberg.
Christmas in Tyrol and Vorarlberg: Traditional customs
One of the most atmospheric experiences for the whole family is a visit to an Advent or Christmas market that pop up in every village. In Lech-Zürs, amid the snow-covered mountain giants of the Arlberg and the charming village facades, the Christmas markets are surrounded by a very magical atmosphere: Home-baked and -made delicacies, dressed-up fir trees, stalls with art handicraft and gift ideas and hospitable locals that love to chat: this is what characterises the Christmas markets on the Arlberg. In Lech there are also different wind ensembles, music groups and choirs for the musical entertainment. The younger visitors can look forward to a special children’s programme and we have heard rumors that even the Christ Child is coming…
Make a note of the following dates for your holiday at the start of the winter season in Lech:
- 6-7 December: Christmas market in Zürs
- 13-14 & 20-21 December: Christmas market on the Rüfiplatz in Lech
Lucky charms on St. Barbara’s day
On 4 December, the day of St. Barbara, people take home twigs from apple or cherry trees and put them in warm water next to the oven. If the Barbara twigs carry blossoms until Christmas, then, it is believed, the new year will be a lucky one.
St. Nicholas & Krampus
Around 6 December, St. Nicholas is coming to visit in Austria, sometimes accompanied by his sinister assistant, the Krampus. But often, these Krampusses just join together for a Krampuslauf.
Who is knocking?
In the deeply Christian land of Tyrol, before Christmas the “Anklöpfler” (people knocking on doors) go through some villages. In small groups, young men dressed up as shepherds, landlord, Joseph and Mary go from house to house and perform the pilgrimage with songs. There is even a song with the title “Wer klopfet an?” (Who is knocking?). Originally, this tradition was based on the belief that the knocking would drive away evil spirits.
Building mangers has got a long tradition, especially in Alpine regions. Often these mangers, which can be found in private homes, churches and exhibitions, are handmade and have been owned by families for centuries.
Tinkering and playing with the children
There is hardly any other time of the year which is as rich in rituals and traditions as the time before Christmas. Especially children love this time and the anticipation for the Christ Child. In families, in kindergartens and in schools, there is tinkering and painting, singing, playing and baking. Maybe you remember some of the following craft ideas from your own childhood?
- Straw stars
- Folding stars, e.g. with glossy paper
- Candle holders
- Christmas decoration made of salt dough
- Advent calendar made of matchboxes or empty toilet paper rolls
- Gingerbread houses
The team of the Lech Lodges wishes you a contemplative and jolly time before Christmas as well as a good start into the winter season!
Excellent “playgrounds” for adrenalin junkies
If you go to the Alps to enjoy freeriding and freestyling, the Arlberg will make your dreams come true. The ski region stands on top of the best ski areas with fantastic free ride possibilities. More than 200 km of high-alpine powder runs, the possibility to go heli skiing and snow guarantee from the end of November to the end of April turn the ski region on the Arlberg into a stronghold for the international freeride community. Looking for a different kind of thrill? Then come to Lech Snowpark.
Eldorado for free skiing
Untouched snow fields and glittering powder at your feet: like hardly any other place, the Arlberg offers a multitude of free ride spots off the regular pistes. More than 200 km of wonderful deep powder snow runs and snow guarantee in heights of up to 2,000 m speak a clear language. Lech Zürs can boast a special award: In the snow-online.de ski resorts checklist 2008/2009, the mundane ski destination was voted No. 1 in the category “Best Freeride Opportunities”. These conditions also produced the world-famous freeriding professional Lorraine Huber who can often be found in her home resort and also organises the yearly Women’s Freeride Camp.
The highlight of freeriding: heli skiing
Ski down from peaks where no cable car goes up to, endless, dreamlike powder ski runs – this idea makes the hearts of experienced off piste skiers beat faster. Lech Zürs belongs to one of the few ski regions in the Alps where you can still go heli skiing. Under the guidelines of nature conservation, this pleasure can only be experienced accompanied by a qualified ski guide, in selected spots and only during the week. There are two target peaks on the Arlberg: the Mehlsack (Zuger Schafberg), which is reserved for experienced and good skiers and offers dream runs either towards Älpele or the Spullersee Lake. For the Schneetal (2,450 m), a medium skiing level is sufficient, you start your ride below the Orgelscharte. You can make reservations for heli skiing at the local ski schools, please note though that flights are dependent on the snow conditions, the weather and availability of ski guides.
If you plan to go on a heliskiing trip, please get the forecast a few days before you arrive at the Lech Lodge, or ask at the ski schools on site.
The Lech Snowpark is the meeting point for all those who like to do tricks on their boards. No matter if you are a beginner, advanced or pro, for every level there is the right area. In an area of 3.6 hectares, there are 17 obstacles, divided into a Fun Run/Easy Run, Rail-Line and Pro-Line. The snowpark is located right in the middle of the ski region Lech Zürs on the Schlegelkopf and below the ski lift. So when you go up, you already get a good overview of the park and can observe your colleagues in action.
Winter has arrived at the Lech Lodge
While the autumn weather was still mild on Tuesday, during the night of Wednesday a cold front whirled over the Arlberg and brought the first load of snow with it. The winter sports region Lech Zürs reports 70 cm of fresh snow.
Roofs, meadows, trees and everything else under the sky are covered by a thick blanket of snow. Looking at this landscape one cannot help but long for the time when you can ski down those slopes again … and the start of the winter season lies right ahead. On 5th December, Lech Zürs starts into the new winter season! But now behold our pictures, freshly taken around the Lech Lodge on the Arlberg:
Why running is healthy & the best running routes in Lech am ArlbergRunning and jogging are no newly invented sports, but lately more and more people restart to appreciate the healthy endurance training in nature. Even in your holidays in your hide-away in Lech am Arlberg you will find countless opportunities to indulge in your favourite sport. Varied running routes and trails for every fitness level are found around your luxury chalet at the Lech Lodge in the Tyrolean Mountains. [caption id="attachment_2444" align="aligncenter" width="660"] Running in Lech am Arlberg (c) www.lech-zuers.at[/caption] Even beginners can run well in Vorarlberg’s nature: The team of Lech Lodges informs you about running styles, the ideal running equipment and the most beautiful running routes around your charming luxury chalet in the mountains.
RunningProbably the best part of running is, that everybody can do it – anytime and anywhere. Regardless of age, fitness and surroundings, you can run, if you just want to. It is only important to find the best running style for your personal needs and to keep some time for training every day.
Running is healthy!? 5 rules for beginnersIf done regularly, running affects our mental and physical health in many positive ways. As with any sport, there are of course a couple of rules to follow in order to avoid injuries and unhealthy movements:
Award-winning restaurants in abundance
There is hardly any other place in the Austrian Alps that is crowded with award-winning restaurants like the distinguished ski village Lech am Arlberg. Your holiday in the Lech Lodge gives you enough opportunities to get to know the diverse and high-quality culinary landscape on the Arlberg. Feast through a different menu every day and maybe find your favourite restaurant in your holiday on the Arlberg: here you find the best tips for eating out:
Located on the Schlegelkopf, Aurelio’s is perfect for a lunch stop or for a cultivated drink at sunset. Just as chic as the atmosphere are the delicious dishes where Austrian as well as international specialties have their place. Aurelio’s is particularly known for its creative “Natural Art Cuisine”. The wine menu offers diverse rarities and vintage wines.
Apart from local specialties and international cuisine, the Brunnenhof restaurant stands out for its natural cuisine. The main focus is on healthy and balanced dishes, also available are vegetarian, gluten- and lactose-free options. The kitchen is led by a young and promising chef: Eik Landfermann, who already cooked at Ikarus in Hangar 7 and at Carpe Diem in Salzburg, now brings his experience and new ideas to the Lech top restaurant Brunnenhof.
Award-winning Euro-Asian cuisine or exquisite steak house with open charcoal grill? You are spoilt for choice – in any case you will find a mundane ambience at FUX. Insider’s tipp: FUX has one of the best wine lists in Austria.
The menu at the rustical, original Rud-Alpe keeps the promise that you would expect from the hut’s outward appearance: Austrian cuisine in finest quality, hearty snack ideas and delicate pastries guarantee a prime culinary experience on the Schlegelkopf with an outstanding view. In the comfy Altholz-Stube, candle light dinners are often arranged.
Game from regional hunting, cheese platter from the „KäseStrasse Bregenzerwald“, fish specialties, international cuisine, award-winning schnapps from Vorarlberg … this is only an excerpt of the menu at the Krone-Stuben. You can either choose a table in the original 17th century Krone-Stuben or in the Krone Restaurant “Der Runde Saal” with its refreshingly different style.
Probably the hippest place to meet in Lech: high life at the bars, indulgence at the various restaurants. The kitchen serves Mediterranean, French and Austrian cuisine, in addition you will find an extraordinary fondue restaurant.
Burg Vital – Griggeler Stuba
Light, regional products in natural quality and puristic preparation, moreover a distinguished and comfortable atmosphere: The Griggeler Stuba truly deserves its 3 awards. Closed on Saturdays.
Regional consciousness and culinary traditions form a union with innovative zeitgeist at the gourmet à la carte restaurant Kristiania. On the sun terrace you can relax while enjoying the view of the mountains around Lech.
À la carte for lunch or a menu for dinner – Murmeli offers Austrian, regional and international cuisine in a cosy atmosphere.
Montana „Zur Kanne“
Nestled in the mountain landscape of Oberlech lies the in-restaurant Montana where gourmets can choose from down-to-earth cuisine, dishes with seafood and creative small dishes for in between. In the evening, Alsatian specialties and fondue please the palate, on Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a large buffet.
The team of the Lech Lodge wishes you magical indulgence experiences and fun when discovering the many award-winning gourmet restaurants in Lech am Arlberg!