The merry month of May is here. Well, the first few days are not so merry, but from experience, we garden fairies know that doesn't matter, quite the contrary. According to an old folk saying, the motto is: May showers sprout the flowers. The important thing is that the weather is good on the first weekend of May because then it's time for the Gauderfest!
It takes place on the 1st weekend in May every year. With a variety of attractions, the Gauderfest is Austria's largest spring and traditional costume festival. Its name however has nothing to do with "Gaudi" (jamboree) as you might think. "Gauder" comes from Gauderlehen, the property where the original festival took place. The festival has grown from the tradition of fairs in the Alpine region. The fair in Zell am Ziller was one of the largest and most popular meeting points for farmers and merchants from Salzburg, South Tyrol, and Tyrol. The earliest documentation is from 1428, when Venetian merchants mentioned the fair in Zell. Since then, a lot has happened. In 1861, the festival was moved from the Gauderlehen to its own house, the Gauderhaus. Since 1950, it has taken place in the village center. A hexathlon, Ranggeln (wrestling), breeding animal exhibition, parade, mass in the field, shooting clubs, and traditional costume and music groups
What would the Gauderfest be without traditional costumes? Of course, the Zillertal costume is not simply a costume. It is a piece of cultural heritage that unifies people. It unifies people like a common language does. The Zillertal includes 25 communities, and the costume is worn in all of them. Our valley is thus one of the few if not the only one throughout the Alpine region that has one traditional costume. The Zillertal costume was mentioned for the first time in the 18th century and has hardly changed to this day. It is simple, stylish, and high-quality, and it is an acknowledgement of cultural belonging, the landscape, and customs. At the Gauderfest, you have the opportunity to witness the unified presence of the Zillertal with this costume. A truly impressive image of a long-established tradition!
Gauder Bock is available only during the Gauderfest festival time. With 7.8% alcohol by volume, it is Austria's strongest festival beer. It is produced by Zillertal Bier, Tyrol's oldest private brewery. Just like the Gauderfest, this festival beer has a long tradition, and they have a direct connection. The Gauderlehen, the property where the festival originally took place, has always belonged to Zillertal Bier. In 1500, the Zell brewery was the only one that had the imperial privilege to brew a high-grade festival beer. From this came an annual tradition, which the successor Zillertal Bier took over. The Gauder Bock is a real rarity and popular far beyond the Zillertal. Like every year, it will be sold out again this year within a few days. Of course, at the Crystal, we serve Zillertal Bier. For reasons of sustainability, the oldest family business in the Zillertal works exclusively with organic hops, organic lemons in the shandy, and uniquely mild water from their own spring, the Königsbrunn at an elevation of 1,700 m. This is quality you can taste with every sip. This includes the Gauder Bock, of which we have a small stock just for you.
Minas secret recipe: lilac gelee
Even if the absolute highlight of May is indisputably the Gauderfest, I can't go without mentioning our hotel's own tradition in terms of nature. A tantalizing fragrance wafts through the entire Crystal garden. The lilacs bloom in their full glory. This means that at the Crystal, it is now the time for lilac jelly and lilac jam. I have managed to get the secret recipe from Mina:
If you also want to know how the most wonderful lilac jam in the world is made, simply ask Mina. I'm sure she will reveal the recipe to you.
I hope to see you at the Gauderfest. And yes, I will be wearing the Zillertal costume. After all, I have been living in the Crystal garden for many years and have deep roots with the land here. And no, you will not recognize me, but I will see you and look forward to it!
Until then...I send you spring greetings with a hint of lilac aroma.