Culinary delights from the farmer’s garden and great customs in focus
Salzburg (OTS) – After two years in which many festivals and even anniversary events were canceled due to the pandemic, this year’s Salzburg Harvest Festival should once again focus on being together. The 2022 motto “From the garden to the plate” could not be more appropriate: Whatever the farmer’s garden provides in terms of delicious ingredients, Salzburg’s farmers and farmers’ festival hosts refine them into classic Alpine cuisine. The opening festival in Tamsweg also symbolizes that the Harvest Festival will be big again – with the Samson as the proverbial biggest custom in SalzburgerLand.
The opening of the Harvest Festival in Tamsweg should have taken place in 2020, but on August 20, 2022 the time has finally come: The Lungau district capital is ready for the opening ceremony of the “fifth season” in SalzburgerLand. “Of course, we continue to pay close attention to the pandemic development and prepare for the fall,” says Governor Wilfried Haslauer. “According to the current status, however, large celebrations can also take place and I am personally really happy that it will be possible to celebrate our customs together again.”
Harvest Festival this year across the federal states
The Harvest Festival is deeply rooted in the people of Salzburg and is taking place for the 27th time this year. From August 20th to October 31st, 2022, farmers, producers, gastronomy and craft businesses as well as numerous local and traditional associations will again actively contribute to the success of the “fifth season”. “The Harvest Festival enriches our social life immensely. It brings together the people of Salzburg, but also our guests,” says Haslauer.
The fact that the Harvest Festival is getting bigger again is also evident from the record number of participating locations, in all regions from the Salzburg Lake District in the north to the Salzburg Lungau or the Hohe Tauern National Park holiday region in the south. “78 Harvest Festival locations are taking part – even across the federal states,” says the governor happily. New on board is the Wolfgangsee region with St. Gilgen, Strobl and St. Wolfgang as well as Eugendorf, Elsbethen and the European Capital of Culture for 2024, Bad Ischl.
Late summer and autumn increasingly popular with guests
From the very beginning, one of the basic ideas behind the Salzburg Harvest Festival was to stimulate the tourist off-season. Even before the pandemic, there was an ever-increasing trend towards the late summer and autumn months, which has even intensified over the past two years: “In the months of August, September and October 2021 we had the stronger overnight stays since records began,” says Leo Bauernberger, Managing Director of the SalzburgerLand Tourismus Gesellschaft (SLTG).
“Even if it’s not about records, it clearly shows the increasing attractiveness of our destination at this special time of the year. The appreciative use of natural resources, the celebration and maintenance of regional customs, the enjoyment of homemade specialties and the warm togetherness – the Salzburg Harvest Festival stands for values for which our guests appreciate the SalzburgerLand and which are particularly important right now ‘” says Bauernberger. “In addition, the offer is exemplary in a special way for the centuries-old alliance of agriculture and tourism, which characterizes our region so much.”
Agriculture and tourism: A special one
“Agriculture forms the basis for successful tourism. By caring for our classic cultural landscape, the farmers ensure the recreational value for locals and guests,” says the President of the Salzburg Chamber of Agriculture, Rupert Quehenberger. Naturally produced food that comes directly from the region also plays a major role. “The success of the SalzburgerLand origin certificate, which was launched in 2019, shows that awareness of regional specialties has risen sharply. The Salzburg Harvest Festival, together with the gastronomy and hotel industry, is an important partner for agriculture. The dialogue with the consumers makes the daily farm work and thus also its products and services more tangible and valuable.”
The Salzburg farmers’ wives have always been the heart of the Harvest Festival. “They are passionate about rural life, get involved in traditional, music and folk dance associations, or enrich the Harvest Festival festivals with homemade specialties,” says Claudia Entleitner, the Salzburg provincial farmer and Vice President of the Salzburg Chamber of Agriculture. In addition to celebrating together and farming culture, enjoying regional dishes and products is the “third pillar” and therefore an indispensable part of the Salzburg Harvest Festival. “I can only express the highest appreciation to our women farmers for the daily work on their farms and their great contribution to the success of the Salzburg Harvest Festival.”
Harvest Festival motto 2022: “From the garden to the plate”
To the regional enjoyment has had a very special meaning in Harvest Festival since the beginning. “It is thanks to Salzburg’s farmers that SalzburgerLand is considered Europe’s delicatessen. Their cottage gardens, but also their fields and forests provide an incredible variety of ingredients for delicious dishes that should not be missing at any Harvest Festival. This year’s motto ‘From the garden to the plate’ is intended to bring the culinary treasures of our country even more to the fore,” says Leo Bauernberger, SLTG. Visitors can enjoy these rural specialties and Alpine dishes at numerous farm festivals, at 340 farmers’ festivals, in farm shops or at weekly and specialty markets.
Samson as a great customs ambassador
“We are also symbolically showing that the Harvest Festival is getting bigger again after two challenging years by celebrating the really big customs in SalzburgerLand,” says SLTG Managing Director Bauernberger, looking ahead to the coming weeks and months. At the opening festival in Tamsweg, the focus is on the biggest custom in the truest sense of the word: the Lungauer Samson. The biblical figures, which are often more than meters high and have their origin in the Old Testament and whose first “appearances” are documented in the early 18th century, are an integral part of regional customs and are also internationally known. Since 2010, the Lungau Samson carrying has been part of the UNESCO intangible world cultural heritage.
“During the Age of Enlightenment, the Samson was even banned for a few decades because the Archbishop of Salzburg considered it too ostentatious,” says Michael Fuchsberger, chairman of the Tamsweg Samson group. “But the people of Lungau didn’t let the custom be taken away and celebrated their Samson apart from the church processions.” In a way, the Samson is also a symbol of the resilience and sense of tradition of the people of Salzburg. “It fits perfectly into the current time and of course for the Harvest Festival. We are really looking forward to the opening ceremony on August 20,” said Fuchsberger.
Harvest Festival Highlights 2022
Anyone who doesn’t make it to Tamsweg on the opening weekend can still experience the Samson in full at the Harvest Festival parades in some other Lungau communities. In addition to carrying the Samson, other major Salzburg customs are also in focus during the Harvest Festival: Almabtrieb, harvest festivals, Schnalzer, the Preber Shooting and the Liachtbratlmontag.
This year’s Harvest Festival motto “From the garden to the plate” can be enjoyed in many different ways. Experiences in the great outdoors are in the foreground, such as farmer’s autumn hikes, guided tours through farmer’s gardens or workshops on how to make autumn wreaths. In culinary terms, the motto appears above all on the menus of the farmers’ autumn hosts, on farm hikes, at farmers’ markets or in numerous specialty weeks.
“We cordially invite the people of Salzburg and our guests to celebrate the 27th Harvest Festival with us. The Harvest Festival locations, traditional, folk dance and music clubs, the inns and, above all, our farmers deserve that hopefully more people than in the past two years will celebrate the ‘fifth season’ in SalzburgerLand together with them.” , says Eveline Bimminger, Harvest Festival Project Manager at SLTG. “We also look at our individual partners who enrich our events and without them the success story of the Harvest Festival.
Strong partners in the Salzburg Harvest Festival
For many years, important partners from the economy – all traditional Salzburg companies – have accompanied the successful path of the Harvest Festival. They are all united by an awareness of quality and tradition, the idea of regionality and the bond with the people of Salzburg. Without this strong companion, the maintenance of tradition and customs, the events and, above all, the further development of the Harvest Festival would not be possible. Stiegl has again brewed the popular Harvest Festival beer “Herbstgold” this year, Raiffeisen shows its solidarity through regionality and customer proximity in the Salzburg Raiffeisen banks and warehouses as well as Gössl with its hand-tailored Harvest Festival costumes or SalzburgMilch, which with its premium products takes new, innovative paths in cooperation with the regional farming families.
All program highlights of this year’s Harvest Festival: