Austria Celebrates Its National Day Again in Old Normality

More+More+ ♦ Published: October 26, 2022; 12:35 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Austrian National Day (Nationalfeiertag) is celebrated annually on 26 October, the anniversary of the announcement of Austrian neutrality in 1955 and the departure of the last allied occupying forces from Austria. On this October 26, the national holiday will return to normality after two years of coronavirus mode. As the Austrian Armed Forces return in full force to their performance on Vienna's Heldenplatz, the doors of government and parliament reopen to the public.

After two years of Coronavirus mode, the national holiday on October 26 will be celebrated normally again. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Manfred Werner - Tsui [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Austria's national holiday has been celebrated annually since 1965 on October 26, the day on which Austria's neutrality, which was decided in 1955, came into force.


On May 15, 1955, the State Treaty had been signed, restoring Austria's state sovereignty. This treaty had to be ratified by all the Allied signatory states (France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States).

The last instrument of ratification was deposited by France on July 27, 1955, at the Soviet Foreign Ministry in Moscow, the repository of the original Austrian State Treaty. This marked the beginning of the contractually agreed period of 90 days in which the occupying forces had to leave Austria.

October 25, 1955, was the last day of these 90 days. October 26, 1955, was thus the first day on which, according to the assurance in the State Treaty, foreign troops were no longer allowed to be on Austrian territory. On this day, the Austrian National Council decided on perpetual neutrality in the form of constitutional law.


To celebrate the regaining of Austria's sovereignty, flags are raised throughout the country every year. This legal holiday is celebrated with various events, from national hiking day to military parades.

The national holiday on October 26 traditionally begins with wreath-laying ceremonies by the Federal President and the government. This is followed by the grand swearing-in ceremony at Heldenplatz and a flyover by two Eurofighters and a C-130 Hercules.

"Bundesheer zum Angreifen" is the motto. After a two-year break, this year the military is once again offering everything it has. The focus this year is on the militia. Helicopters, tanks and other vehicles, a flight simulator, parachutists and much more will be presented.

In the afternoon, the government will be transparent. From 12:00 to 16:30, interested parties will be able to visit the representative offices of the Federal Chancellery in groups and meet members of the government, including Chancellor Karl Nehammer.

Visitors are also welcome in other ministries in the government quarter. So is the Parliament in its alternative quarters in the Hofburg. Additionally, the Constitutional Court (VfGH) will be open to the public from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on the national holiday.

Furthermore, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs will open its doors on National Day. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., staff members at the Ministry on Minoritenplatz will provide information about their diverse areas of work and responsibilities as well as the worldwide services offered by the Foreign Ministry.

For the first time, Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen is not holding a real open day. However, he will receive "representatives of civil society" on his premises at the Hofburg.