Saint Rupert's Day in Salzburg in 2024

Saint Rupert's Day in Salzburg in 2024
Salzburg Rupertikirtag. Image by Wild Picture , via Stadt Salzburg
  How long until Saint Rupert's Day?
Saint Rupert's Day
  Dates of Saint Rupert's Day in Salzburg
2025 Wed, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2024 Tue, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2023 Sun, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2022 Sat, Sep 24Regional Holiday
2021 Fri, Sep 24Regional Holiday

Saint Rupert (Heiliger Rupert), founded Salzburg (Salt Castle) in the early eighth century

  Local name

When is Saint Rupert's Day

Saint Rupert's Day is a regional public holiday in the city of Salzburg, Austria on September 24th each year.

The holiday takes place in honour of the patron saint and founder of Salzburg, Saint Rupert. Rupert is one of the most important religious figures in Austria. The first bishop of the state, he is regarded as one of the wisest holy men to have ever lived.

History of Saint Rupert's Day

It's not clear when and where Rupert was born. It was around 660 and it is generally accepted that he was of royal Frankish stock, though there have been some claims that he might have been Irish.

He was the bishop of Worms (in modern-day Germany) when the Duke of Bavaria asked if he would come and help convert the Bavarian tribes, who were still Pagan at that time.

He had great success in spreading Christianity, earning him the name the "Apostle of the Bavarians". Rupert then moved on eastwards to further his missionary work. 

Rupert arrived at an old Roman town called Juvavum that was almost in ruins. 

If you have a basic knowledge of German, you may know that Salzburg means 'Salt Castle'.  Juvavum was given this name by Rupert. It wasn't because the town was particularly salty - it was because the town was collecting tolls from the barges carrying salt down the Salzach river.

Rupert's arrival proved to be the spark for the revitalisation of the town which would go on to become an important city-state from the middle ages, whose most famous son is undoubtedly the great composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The historic centre of the city was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The Feast Day of Saint Rupert is actually on March 27th, the date of his death in 710. In Austria, Rupert is celebrated on September 24th, marking the date that his relics were transferred to Salzburg Cathedral in 774.

In honour of their patron saint's foundation of the city, the people of Salzburg have been celebrating Rupertitag for centuries. 

Each year, Saint Rupert's Day attracts thousands of visitors to the old town of Salzburg. Numerous artisans, showmen and market traders revive the old fair traditions, and music and folklore groups ensure there is a cheerful and exuberant atmosphere with plenty of activities to keep the locals and tourists entertained. The day ends with a spectacular fireworks display.

On this day, Austrians in Salzburg attend mass or special novena prayer sessions devoted to St. Rupert. Many communities also hold a procession with his statue, to remind the rest of the country just how important he is to Austrian history and heritage.

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