January 2018 - Intercultural calendar

The list provides an overview of the most important holidays of the largest religious and ethnic groups in Vienna as well as public holidays in January.

Public holidays

1 January: New Year's Day
The first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar

Christianity

6 January: Epiphany (Catholic, also a public holiday)
Celebrates the visit of the three Magi, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to infant Jesus. There is the custom of "Sternsingen" (star singing) and of writing the letters C+M+B (Christus mansionem benedicat = Christ bless this house) on entrance doors.
Some regions also commemorate the baptism of Jesus and the miracle at Cana.
The Greek-Orthodox community in Vienna celebrates the Great Blessing of Water on Epiphany Day on the Danube Canal. A cross is immersed into the water three times to bless the water.
6 January: Orthodox Christmas Eve (according to the Julian calendar)
The Serbian Orthodox put nuts and dried plums on a table under which there is hay as a symbol of the stable, the place where Jesus was born.
7 January: Orthodox Christmas Day (according to the Julian calendar)
Serbian custom: A young man visits the family in the early morning, picks up an oak stick in front of the entrance door and stirs the glow in the oven: each spark symbolises the birth of a child. The young man who brought luck to the family is invited for a meal and receives presents. Another custom is to bake a coin into a loaf of bread and whoever finds the coin will have luck in the coming year.
19 January: Three Kings' Day (Orthodox)
27 January: Saint Sava (Serbian Orthodox)
Saint Sava was a Serbian prince and Orthodox monk, the first Archbishop of the Serbian Church, and the founder of Serbian law and literature. He is widely considered as one of the most important figures of Serbian history.

Judaism

31 January: Tu Bishvat
The name is derived from the Hebrew date of the holiday, which occurs on the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. It is also called the "New Year of the Trees". The day is marked by eating fruit, particularly from the kinds that are singled out by the Torah in its praise of the bounty of the Holy Land such as grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates.
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Goran Novakovic (Municipal Department 17)
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