Activities:The Donauinselfest is a 25 year old annual, open air, free music festival on the Donauinsel in Vienna, Austria. In most years it has taken place in June. However, in 2008 the festival was in September to prevent clashing with the European Football Championship which was co-hosted by Austria.According to numerous media reports (including Wikinews) the Donauinselfest is Europe's biggest open air event; soon expected to reach the 3 million visitors mark. Some 1500 volunteer assistants and visible police presence help make the Donauinselfest one of the most secure big events. To ensure this, "house rules" were introduced in 2007 and checkpoint controls established to help control certain items (such as glass and liquor inside the festival perimeter.
Activities: In the snow-covered Alps, families descend from their mountain homes to the valley below, illuminating the night with torches held high to light their way in the darkness. Carolers gather in church towers and village squares to guide the people to Christmas services with their melodies. All shops, theaters and concert halls close their doors for this is an evening spent with only with family.Following church services, families return home for their more intimate celebrating. First Christmas Eve dinner is served, often with "Gebackener Karpfen" (fried carp) as the main course. Dessert may be chocolate and apricot cake called "Sachertorte" and Austrian Christmas cookies called "Weihnachtsbaeckerei" (yes, this is the actual spelling).After the meal, the ringing of a bell signals the opening of a door long locked against the anxious eyes of the little ones. For the first time the children are permitted to witness the Christmas tree glistening with lights and colored ornaments, gold and silver garlands, candies and cookies. Beneath the tree is usually arranged an elaborate manger scene. Almost every family owns hand- carved manger figures handed down from generation to generation.