intangible cultural heritage

Seasons

area : Steirisches Vulkanland
category : practices concerning nature
Sharply defined seasons return man in the region Steirisches Vulkanland to the natural rhythm of the year’s seasons and slow down the pace of modern society.
Nothing reflects the course of the year so intensely as nature – and in particular, plant life. The symbol of grain, which “dies” in order to grow, to thrive and to reap its fruit a hundred-fold in the form of a new plant, is an ancient image of human transformation and the transformational process in general. This expressive image can be found in almost every religion. The impulse of a new lifestyle culture throughout the intense seasons should inspire man to grow, to mature, to harvest, to condense the essence (in a bud) and then once again breathe life into something new.
We therefore respect the primordial, the rhythm of the seasons and their design, and the way in which these are to be found in tradition and in the course of the year. The thread running through our origins, our traditions, our typical regionalisms can only become stronger, and more visible. Thus the future becomes our past, and our present contains both roots and rhythm. We should appreciate anyone who devotes themselves passionately to the landscape, to its beautification and care. They deserve public praise and thanks, for they work for our common good!

Sharply defined seasons
When most people still worked in agriculture, the rhythm of the seasons formed part of their everyday life. Modern society has freed itself from the “constraints” of the seasons: air conditioning, heating, lights, freezers, logistics, warehousing… all of these ensure constant (and actually tedious) conditions. Your food supply has scarcely any seasonal fluctuations, and foreign travel allows a change of season at any time of the year. The effects on man are however manifold – and most of these go unnoticed: the need for sleep, hormonal status, immune system, mental health (such as winter depression) and altered perception. Today, we once again understand how important this relationship and rhythm are to human development. We consciously once again value the seasons:

Spring in Vulkanland – The region blooms along the volcano trails
A period of change. A time for renewal. Intense life flows back to the surface of the land. Nature pulses and presents itself in its freshest finery. A living, inexhaustible spectrum of radiant shades of green covers the landscape. New vigour and growth mark a new beginning. Just like nature, man blooms too. Inspiration, drive and creativity are nurtured by a desire for renewal. Everything focuses on what is coming, full of expectation and hope. The springtime of life is also characterised by expectation, hope, by growth and often impetuous discovery. New life grows, thrives; vital and free-spirited. Spring is a time for sowing. As with man, the region also develops. Young and future-oriented, this is the time for presenting great visions. This is fertile ground for birthing and nurturing ideas. Everything is fresh, exciting and loaded with insight. Attention and appreciation increase trust and confidence in what is to come. Challenges are accepted impetuously, free-spirited and almost with youthful “carelessness”. The season is characterised by a refreshing spontaneity and initiative – a time for new beginnings. All around is in bloom and pollinating.

Summer, the season of the master-craftsman – Glass factories open their doors – Tradition and innovation
Nature now presents itself in full bloom, lush and sated. Following a period of intense growth, all eyes are now on maturing. Finishing and expectations for a rich harvest are the trademarks of summer. This joy also determines the master and those who appreciate his work. The Region’s culture of tracking master-craftsmanship enriches guests and hosts alike. Tradition meets innovation. A man’s hand at work can be directly experienced. Creativity reaches its peak and talent is honed. The first fruits give an impression of the rightness of the way forward, and provide an incentive to continue along this path with humility and perseverance. The refinement of a lifestyle, the consolidation and expansion of potential and talent define character. With great energy, a living master-craftsman strives to realise his vision. He realises his own self, and can then allow others to share this. A glimpse over the shoulder of a master-craftsman inspires, enriches, creates trust and appreciation. Such creative power inspires new masters – the master-craftsmen of the future. A time of irrepressible creative energy and expression – this is a time of growth and variety.

Culinary autumn – Fine wines and gourmet dishes enrich the autumnal landscape
Rich harvests await the hard worker in the autumn. Perseverance, but also the connection with the region in particular make this worthwhile. A sense of timing is just as valuable as hard work when all is said and done. Nature is at her most fertile and, finally, in her most colourful attire of the year. She is showing off her best side. A powerful, aesthetically-packed setting before taking a rest. The harvest season is a time of abundance, a time of preparation – and consolidation.
The master-craftsman presides over the completion of a life cycle. Inner peace awaits. The desire to share the experiences and resources of life shape his future path. Satisfaction with the bountiful harvest and a retrospective appreciation of life shape this time of the year, and this time of life. Many options appear less important in the light of our achievements. An inner security to focus securely on the essential is achieved. Knowledge becomes wisdom. Attention turns to those who in turn express their appreciation for what has been achieved and the skills of the master-craftsman. His fine art of refinement and more particularly of animation inspires anyone who might wish to follow in his footsteps. This time of fruition is a time of harvest, of gifts and abundance.

Peaceful Advent – A green light mirrored in reflection and tranquillity
The late autumn and the Advent time which follows combine into a time of utter peace. Nature retreats – and so does man, pooling his experiences for the next year. The value which is attributed to the seasons and in particular to Advent deeply enriches our lives and our community life within. Municipalities from Straden onwards shine a particular meaning with green light. With their lanterns, inhabitants give the peaceful Advent time renewed meaning. And thus we reach our common goal, to provide an even more valuable, more intimate habitat for ourselves and our guests. Stillness blankets the land. The time for contemplation and reflection has come. Looking back over a fulfilling, successful year gives us a deep sense of satisfaction. Those who are aware of it are filled with the desire to redeem themselves. The cycle which Nature has established over the millennia also applies to the human species. Adding to this lays a stable foundation for the coming year. The leaves fall from the branches, laying the fruitful foundations for the future – a metaphor for life itself. Peace forms the basis for a new beginning.
In Vulkanland, the green light of Advent has come to symbolise this return, a symbol of germination and birth. In the ranks of the seasons as a symbol of life, winter is a time for man to remember the fruits of his life and to crystallise and condense the good things from life. The focus shifts from everyday creativity to recognising the more essential things in life. An insightful advisor, the master of life lifts up anyone who recognises the value of his work and word. A time of entry and return is a time of consolidation and internalisation.

Precious peace
Peace has a particular value in Steirisches Vulkanland, a scarce commodity and a vital factor for experiencing our landscapes. The region Vulkanland has deliberately committed itself to peace as valuable capital for the future. With the Peace Charter (see the brochure of the same name, available for download), the Region has sent a proactive signal to all of its citizens, municipalities and the regional economy. Everyone is invited to work within their own sphere of influence with sensitivity and consideration to continue to develop this so meaningful regional resource, peace, for ourselves as well as for our guests. The deliberate commitment to peace is not only beneficial to the image and quality of Vulkanland, but also boosts the area’s recreational value and quality of life. In the future, this will make us something rather special. We support the increased value of peace and talk of it as a special value – it enables intense sensations, and improves vitality – and it often has a decelerating, deepening effect on life.
There is great strength in peace!
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