South Styrian festivals

Colourful, exhilarating, vibrant and well worth attending: South Styrian festivals in September and October. The Autumn festivals, Harvest Thanksgiving festivals and Wine Harvest festivals are the absolute highlights of Styria's calendar of events, and have been a fixture of Styrian tradition and custom for many a year. They are times of gratitude and humility, but also of merry southern spirit. The annual highlights include the Hops and Wine Harvest Festival in Leutschach an der Weinstraße at the end of September, the Wine Harvest Festival in Gamlitz on the first weekend of October, and the South Styrian Autumn Festival in Leibnitz as the crowning conclusion to the period on the second weekend of October.

Numerous other communities and churches in the region celebrate harvest thanksgiving in their own way too. While today we may benefit from many useful technical advances and our ability to monitor the weather, the farmers of vegetables, cereals, fruit and grapes remain almost entirely at the mercy of nature. Heavy rainfall or hailstones are enough to destroy a harvest. The more profound the thankfulness for a successful harvest, the merrier and more relaxed the mood afterwards. The big Harvest Thanksgiving festivals or Wine Harvest festivals usually last several days, and include a church service and a traditional Styrian harvest procession on the Sunday. As you might expect, food lies at the heart of the Wine Harvest festivals in the Wine Country. At the big festivals in Gamlitz, Leutschach an der Weinstraße and Leibnitz, visitors can browse the many different stalls to sample their fill of fresh "Sturm" (semi-fermented new wine) and other exquisite wines. And of course there is no shortage of culinary delicacies at the wine taverns. A complementary programme of events with lots of highlights only adds to the atmosphere.