ESCAPE – (G)Luck for the New Year

NY_pig_hatI’m leaving Vienna early tomorrow morning to head back to Los Angeles. I had so much on my plate and so many photos to sort through I’m going to blog most of it after the fact, but that’s life. And yes… I know HiddenLA isn’t supposed to be about Europe… but it’s my blog and I’ll write about what I want to, so there! I’m ready to be back home and wander the streets of L.A. again, but it’s so incredible to experience familiar holidays through the eyes of a totally different culture. It’s something I want to share.

Case in point… New Year’s in Austria (named Silvester, after St. Sylvester) is a much different animal than we know. The New Year is all about pigs here. Yes, pigs. Well, pigs and psychadelic mushrooms and clovers and chimney sweeps and ladybugs and frogs. Or any combination of those items… the more the better. Also, it’s *especially* lucky if the pigs are either fornicating or showing their boobs. You think I’m kidding? CLICK ON THE BOXED IMAGE BELOW LEFT to check out a photo gallery of just a few of the New Year gifts I saw in Downtown Vienna today. Hover on the images to read the captions.

Austrian Lucky Charms

Another odd thing… New Year’s Eve tradition here includes tv viewing of an old British comedy sketch called Dinner For One which is far more famous here than it is in Britain. And on the morning of January 1st, television viewing tradition has nothing to do with football and a flower parade, rather the Vienna Philharmonic seranades the citizens of Austria with waltzes by Strauß. You think I’m kidding. I’m not. The concert is broadcast around the world to an estimated audience of one billion. Check out the link below to get a sample… and feel free to clap. ‘Cuz that’s tradition too.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”500″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1akpwRucfk[/youtube]

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