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With Humor, Charm and Lederhosen

Everyone has heard of “Casual Friday”. Well now, there’s also “Lederhosen Thursday”. That said, don’t be too surprised if, as you stroll through the city, you encounter many different folk sporting lederhosen pants or a dirndl dress. You see, two young Salzburgers made it their goal to restore this traditional clothing to its rightful place in daily life. Christian Eibl and Georg Klampfer haven’t only done this with their own inimitable charm, their efforts have also met with exceptional success.

The two founding fathers of the event have known each other since their school days. On 8 August 2013, Georg Klampfer and Christian Eibl finally got their “Lederhosen Thursday” concept off the ground. They received a substantial boost from a couple of photos posted on Instagram, which the two Salzburg locals used to proclaim to the world that, from now on, they would only wear lederhosen on Thursdays. And they still do that to this day. Privately and professionally, summer and winter, in Salzburg and New York.

Living Traditions and Feierabend Bier

The photos on Instagram and Facebook morphed into a movement that has made lots of waves in the offline community as well. In 2016, Georg Klampfer and Christian Eibl were actually honored as “Salzburgers of the Year”. Since then, these two multi-talented individuals have founded an association with others who share their passion, aimed at promoting the wearing of folk costume even more. And so it is that, especially on Thursdays, the city is “beautified” ever more frequently by passers-by who are proudly parading their lederhosen and dirndls. Once a month, members also get together after work for a convivial Feierabend Bier in different locations. Everyone is invited to join them for good company and a glass or two of outstanding Salzburg beer. Just make sure you don’t forget your lederhosen or dirndl.

“Lederhosen Thursday” has been going on now for four years. Could you share a few of your best moments with us?

Christian Eibl: There have actually been lots of great moments. But honestly, you can’t beat simply walking through the city and putting a smile on people’s faces – just by wearing a pair of lederhosen.

Georg Klampfer: For me, one of the most special moments was being chosen as a “Salzburger of the Year”. That really is a great honor – especially when you think about some of the personalities who received this award in the past. It also makes me happy, when I go to the baker on Thursday and the lady adds a second croissant to my bag at no charge – just because she is so happy to see me in those leather pants. And of course, when you stroll through the city on a Thursday and see that others are celebrating “Lederhosen Thursday” as well. That’s probably the best thing of all.

“Lederhosen Thursday” came into being as an initiative to encourage people to wear folk costume more often, and at the same time reinvigorate local culture and traditions. Do guests from other countries also come to Feierabend Bier?

Georg Klampfer: Oh yes, absolutely. For example, we have an American guest, who was born in Florida, grew up in Washington, has also lived in Hawaii, and now is here in Salzburg. And even he went ahead and bought himself a pair of lederhosen just for “Lederhosen Thursday”.

Christian Eibl: At my former job, we once had a special moment: Colleagues from South Africa sent us a photo, with everyone in it sporting either lederhosen or dirndls. Admittedly, some were only wearing beige pants as a stand-in for real lederhosen, but it’s the thought that counts: the desire to reenact “Lederhosen Thursday”, even all the way down there in South Africa. We were thrilled. My job also took me to America quite frequently. Often my colleagues would ask me as early as Monday, whether or not I had my lederhosen along with me this trip and if I planned to wear them on Thursday.

Last year, you even hosted a Feierabend Bier in Munich – do you also have plans for other cities?

Georg Klampfer: Yes, “Lederhosen Thursday” will soon be coming to other cities. Fundamentally, every Thursday is “Lederhosen Thursday”, while Feierabend Bier, which takes place once a month, is now being brought to other cities. Last year, we took our first successful baby steps in Munich, while in summer 2017 we look forward to the first Feierabend Bier events in Vienna as well. Let’s see how well we Salzburgers can sell the idea to the Viennese. (laughs)

If you had to describe the city of Salzburg to visitors in five words, what would they be ?

Georg Klampfer: Five words would be pushing it a bit. Salzburg is simply too diverse. Salzburg is a city of nature and culture, a city of the world. It exudes the flair of Italy and the special charm of a city with deep, rich traditions.

Christian Eibl: Salzburg is the place I call “home”. The city isn’t too big and it isn’t too small. Here, you have everything you need. Mountains, lakes, culture. Everything. Now, that was just a tad more than five, right? (laughs)

Imagine it’s Thursday and you have a free day to spend in the city of Salzburg. What would your perfect day look like?

Georg Klampfer: My perfect day begins with a breakfast enjoyed in lederhosen, either at traditional Café Bazar or Café 220 Grad. Then we’ll make our way through Mirabell Gardens to the Schranne outdoor market. While we’re there, we’ll pick up meat and vegetables for the weekend. If we get hungry, we’ll treat ourselves to some exquisite fried chicken. Afterwards, we’ll hop onto our single-speed Fixie bikes and pedal to a lake or the Waldbad swimming area in Anif. When we are done there, we will ride a pair of Vespa scooters up the Gaisberg and enjoy the sunset looking out over the city. And finally, we will wind down this successful day with Feierabend Bier, of course. Sounds perfect, right?