Here’s a last “Kirchtag” post for this year.
As I said, everything happens right on the streets of the center. The whole center is closed for car traffic, and ferris wheels and roller coasters are set up directly between the houses.
Somehow it looks and feels very different from the typical confined fair. Well, in order to live there, with a roller coaster right in front of your living room window for a whole week, you probably also have to have been born here 😀
Being none of Villach’s natives, I normally tend to avoid Kirchtag, but this year I had an hour to spare.
I took the new 40-150/2.8 and I tried a few things like focus tracking. Nothing came from those experiments, but at least I got away with images for three blog posts 🙂
In alpine catholic countries, “Kirchtag” is the feast of the patron saint of a village’s or town’s main church. Normally that is a local feast only, as every place has their own Kirchtag and they all are more or less the same.
Music, dancing, drinking, all that for a day and then it’s over.
Not so in Villach. Villach celebrates its Kirchtag for a whole week, and people from all of Austria, some from Slovenia and finally many, many Italians come to participate.
Villach’s Kirchtag is a week-long celebration of traditional costumes, and while it is similar in many ways to Munich’s Oktoberfest, it is also very different, because it happens simultaneuosly throughout the city’s center. It is woven into Villach’s fabric, while Oktoberfest is more or less confined to a special place called “Wiesn”.
Villach’s Kirchtag is commercialized as well, but in a more amateurish way and at the same time with broader popular partizipation. It is quite normal for Villach’s natives to go to work in traditional dresses for the whole week, and after work to go into the center for the feast, throughout the week as well. I always joke that you have to be born here to understand it 🙂