Intangible Cultural Heritage in Austria

"Silent Night" - the Christmas carol

Applicant: MMag. Michael Neureiter i.V. Stille-Nacht-Gesellschaft
Province: Burgenland, Carinthia, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Vienna
Domain: Social Practices
Year of inclusion: 2011

The song “Silent Night! Holy Night!” - composed in 1818 - has since become a focal point in peoples’ Christmas celebrations, amongst the trusted circle of family and friends as much as during ecclesiastic festivities, particularly the Christmas Mass. For many, “Silent Night” is the mother of all Christmas carols.

The collective singing and playing of music is equally practiced and stimulated by church communities of different faiths, choirs, singing societies, kindergartens, schools and other educational institutions. This tradition is passed down from one generation to the next by way of communities, organisations and families. “Silent Night” is a trans-national and cross-confessional carol, having been translated into over 300 languages and spreading the Christmas message of the birth of Jesus Christ around the world.