Feast of Saint Rupert Date in the current year: September 24, 2024

Feast of Saint Rupert The feast day of Saint Rupert is an official holiday in Salzburg, Austria, where it is known as Rupertikirtag. It is dedicated to Rupert of Salzburg, the patron saint of the state of Salzburg and its eponymous capital.

Saint Rupert was Bishop of Worms, as well as the first Bishop of Salzburg. Thanks to him, Salzburg became the center of a large autonomous archdiocese in the 8th century. Rupert founded St Peter’s Abbey, laid the foundations of Salzburg Cathedral, and introduced a number of reforms.

The feast of Saint Rupert is one of the oldest traditional festivals in Austria. Its first mention dates back to 1331. Although Saint Rupert died on March 27, his feast day in Austria is celebrated on September 24, commemorating the translation of his relics to Salzburg Cathedral in 774.

This choice of date is probably also explained by the fact that September is the end of the harvest season and a great time for an agricultural fair. During the Middle Ages, Saint Rupert’s Day was the most important trading day of the year in the Salzburg region. Over time, the fair grew to include rides, performances, and other entertainment.

The traditional Saint Rupert Fair is still held in Salzburg every year. Of course, today people no longer need to buy food for the long winter, so the present-day fair is focused primarily on entertainment. Most of the goods sold at the fair are traditional crafts made by local artisans. Part of the proceeds from the sale of souvenirs is donated to charity. In addition to craft stalls, there are stalls with traditional food (fried chicken, roast beef and venison, dumplings, fried fish on skewers), folk singing and dancing, theatrical performances, and other entertainment.

The Salzburg Fair is also famous for its historical carnival rides, some of which are almost two centuries old. The symbol of the fair is a swing ride built in 1848. It is erected on the square in front of the cathedral specifically for the fair and then removed until the next Saint Rupert’s Day. Another symbol of the holiday is Hanswurst, a popular character from traditional German comedy portrayed as a peasant in a green hat. He is present at all important events and presides over the opening and closing of the fair.

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