Christmas & New Year’s Eve Customs at the Mirabell

The beginning of a magical time …

Host family

December is a time of festivities, family get-togethers, gift-giving, joy and, last but not least, customs and all kinds of traditions. Like at Christmas, when the Christmas tree is put up, traditional songs are sung and people attend Christmas mass. Or on New Year’s Eve, the last day of the year, which in South Tyrol is associated with numerous rituals, such as “incense” or torch-bearers. And every year anew, it is wonderful to revive these traditions.

They are what ground us and create a deep connection to our homeland, to our roots. 

The time of festivals

There are changes and upheavals every year, which often also mean uncertainty because you can never be sure what will happen next. Christmas and New Year’s Eve offer a certain stability – they are fixed points in the year to which one can orient oneself, and with them rituals and traditions that provide stability, give warmth and, above all, ensure that one comes together with loved ones, family and friends. At the Mirabell, for example, it is precisely this coming together and shared experience that is very important to us. For us, Christmas is closely linked to family traditions.

Family-oriented, traditional, atmospheric

Every year, 24 December is a day that is celebrated together with family, guests & friends at the Mirabell. First of all, the entire house is lovingly decorated by hostess Judith Agstner herself. Traditionally, the Christmas tree is also put up and the spicy scent of the pine needles blends with the Christmas aroma of cinnamon, cloves, oranges and roasted almonds.
This alone makes you feel warm and at home, and brings back memories of good times.

On Christmas Eve, we all gather with our guests, sing carols together and enjoy each other´s company until it’s time for the festive Christmas gala dinner: it is always a special treat to look forward to. A firm part of the tradition is the visit to the nightly Christmas mass in Valdaora, which is followed by the melodious chimes of the Valdaora brass band. Traditionally, those involved enjoy a small drink together afterwards to bring the beautiful evening to a fitting conclusion. A Christmas that we love and enjoy.

To a happy new year

New Year’s Eve is also a special day – after all, it is the last day of the year!
Did you know that this day got its name from its association with the commemoration of Saint Sylvester I? What is more, the tradition goes back to Roman times in 150 BC, where the first evidence of a “year-end festival” can be found, and also in Germanic tradition New Year’s Eve can be found in connection with fire-related customs … Today, New Year’s Eve in South Tyrol is associated with a number of traditions, such as “Räuchern”, which is still carried out mainly on farms and involves families going through the house praying and burning incense in the rooms. Another very lively tradition is the annual torch walk on New Year’s Eve, which is usually invited by the local ski schools – this is also the case here in Valdaora on Plan de Corones. Of course, the colourful fireworks at the turn of the year and the ringing of the church bells at exactly 0:00 a.m. are a must: then people wish each other luck for the new year and toast with champagne. The next day, New Year’s criers usually go from house to house handing out small lucky charms and wishing everyone a Happy New Year. Not to be confused with the carol singers, the 3 Kings, who spread the good news of Christmas on 6 January.

As you can see, Christmas & New Year’s Eve have an important place in our culture at Mirabell in South Tyrol, are connected with tradition & customs, give us warmth and allow us to come together to celebrate. Year after year. And every year it is a joy and a very special experience that we are only too happy to share with you.

See you soon at the Mirabell,

Yours, Judith & Michael Agstner
and the lovely Mirabell team