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The Christmas tree on Vienna's Rathausplatz lit up, Source: C.Jobst / PID

Vienna lights up with Christmas spirit amidst Covid spike

Vienna lights up with Christmas spirit amidst Covid spike

Mayor Michal Ludwig praised the 130-year-old Christmas tree for radiating hope and confidence during these demanding times

Yesterday, Vienna lit up with lush Christmas spirit and decorations in what Mayor Michael Ludwig described as a way to bring hope to the citizens who had been through a lot in the past two years. As the pandemic rages across Austria, the federal government instituted the latest lockdown and this one is aimed at the unvaccinated. Meanwhile, Vienna is getting ready to bring some festive spirit back onto the streets.

The Christmas tree

Ever since 1959, the Viennese Christmas tree has come from a different federal province. This year it is from Burgenland, which is also celebrating 100 years as an Austrian province. The nearly 130-year-old 30-metre tall spruce comes from a forest in the municipality of Wiesen – a small town on the edge of the eastern Alps. The traditional Christmas tree lit up yesterday at 5:30 on Rathausplatz.

Mayor Michael Ludwig commented that it should radiate confidence and hope, especially in these demanding times. He continued: “It is important that - against all odds - people do not lose their joy in the Christmas season! Right now, solidarity, charity and solidarity are the values ​​that hold our society together!”

Christmas tree viennaThe Christmas tree in Vienna, as well as the Christmas market,
Source: C.Jobst / PID

At the same time, the recent uptick in Covid infections has reached an all-time high in the country with healthcare authorities registering around 12,000 new cases yesterday. At the same time, the introduction of lockdown measures for the unvaccinated in Austria led to massive queues in front of vaccination centres.

The Christmas market and the Christmas Fair

The city also launched the Christmas market and the Christmas Fair complete with a Ferris wheel and "Wiener Herzerlbaum" (Vienna Heart tree) with its 200 luminescing hearts. Both the market and the fair will be open until December 26.

Furthermore, at the entrance of the Christmas area, citizens will be required to provide a valid 2-G certificate, meaning that they need to be either vaccinated or recovered. The same rules apply for riding the Ferris wheel.

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