IT'S CHRISTMAS TIME
FESTIVE HIGHLIGHTS | ONLINE VIEW
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Our team has prepared a hand-picked selection of content for Christmas. Browse through our collection of this year's festive highlight programs and get your audience in the mood for the upcoming holiday season.

Christmas in Vienna 2020 - Family Edition

Concert | 65 min. | Available before Christmas

 

The coronavirus pandemic will also change the Christmas season. The classical concert "Christmas in Vienna" will not take place as usual this year in the Wiener Konzerthaus. Together with the event organizer and the artists of the "Christmas in Vienna" family, ORF has decided to reinvent the traditional Christmas concert in co-production with ARTE.

Camilla Nylund, Angelika Kirchschlager, Thomas Hampson, Luca Pisaroni and Saimir Pirgu will meet the Vienna Boys Choir and the cello quartet "Die Kolophonistinnen" for a house concert at the legendary Hotel Sacher.

With songs that the artists personally associate with Christmas, they set an example of community, especially in a time when togetherness can no longer be taken for granted.

A Winter Journey

Concert | 120 min. | Available from December 13

 

The production combines the visual impressions of the breathtaking landscape of the Hohe Tauern National Park with one of the most important works of Austrian music history: Franz Schubert "Winter Journey".

A Baroque Christmas in the Palace of Schloss Hof

Documentary | 52/45 min. 

 

Baroque Christmas traditions and their culinary specialties are revived with reenactments in historical clothing at the palaces of Hof and Niederweiden Austria. In the baroque era, there was no Christmas tree and no cookies. Rich households indulged in fine lemon donuts, marzipan cakes or the latest fashionable drink: a "hot chocolate", boiled down thick with sugar. Everyone received a piece of the stollen Christmas cake. However, stollen with a sugary, buttery topping was reserved for the "rulers".

Silent Night - Holy Night: The Story of a World Famous Song

Documentary | 48 min.

 

One song has gone around the world and become a peace anthem: "Silent Night, Holy Night". The documentary sets out to find when and by whom this great song was invented: in the early 19th century, Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr created the song in the middle of the Salzburger Land for consolation in lean times. It is a song which, in its simplicity and grandeur, continues to define Christmas all over the world today.

The Christmas Crib - Origin and Tradition

Documentary | 52/45 min. 

 

Francis of Assisi is said to have invented the tradition of putting up cribs. Wooden carvings were used to recreate the birth of Christ until the 19th century. Today, cribs are made of all kinds of materials: paper mâché, cardboard, glass, terracotta and gingerbread. During Advent, there is a crib scene in many households, along with the Christmas tree and Christmas cookies.

Christmas Tree - Tradition and History

Documentary | 52/45 min. 

 

Christmas isn’t Christmas without a Christmas tree! This is a tradition that enjoyed its first boom at the start of the 19th century, with decorations reflecting the characteristics of the region in question. The film doesn’t neglect culinary matters, because trees were not only decorated with glass, candles, angel hair and tinsel – there were also lots of sweets made of chocolate, egg whites, jelly and nuts.

About the Magic of Christmas Cakes in Europe

Documentary | 45 min.

 

When Christmas time comes along, a lot of biscuits are baked and many cakes sweeten the Advent season and the holidays. The Linzer Tart originates from the Upper Austrian capital, Linz, and is one of the oldest recipes in the world, for it could be tracked down to 1653. Whereas in Germany, the Stollen is a heavy, rich, slightly exotic bread filled with candied fruits, the French wouldn’t celebrate Christmas without the Bûche de Noël. This chocolate sponge roll, filled with chocolate cream is supposed to represent a log but it mainly is a visual artwork. In Verona, the world-renowned Pandoro is made through days of working on the dough. 

Vanilla, Cinnamon and Almond Flakes - A Christmas Bakery in Europe

Documentary | 45 min.

 

Christmas in Switzerland would be impossible to imagine without the so-called "Zimtsterne", while in Znaim, the traditional Christmas cookies are glazed with white fondant. In Trieste, spices and lots of chocolate make the "Dolci" into a delicacy. The so-called Viennese  "Vanillekipferl", is the final destination in this "biscuit treasure hunt" throughout Europe.

Gingerbread Journeys

Documentary | 45 min.

 

From honey, flour, sugar, nuts and expensive spices such as cinnamon, pepper and cloves arises a miracle of confectionery art: gingerbread. Originally, gingerbread production was closely linked to monasteries, on the one hand because around a monastery there always settled many craftsmen and on the other hand because back then only certain sections of the population, like monks, could afford the expensive spices. Gingerbread has its place in different cultures, and it always tastes like gingerbread, but always a little bit different...

Single Bells

ORF Movie Classic | 90 min.

 

She can no longer suppress her longing for a happy family and her own children. And she invites herself - without Jonas - to her sister’s Christmas celebration. A white Christmas in the bosom of a big family appears to be an alternative. But at her sister’s house, brother-in-law Joe, the two mothers-in-law and grandmothers, and the two children provide spirited turbulence under the Christmas tree. A continuation of this production, "Oh Christmas Palm", is also available.

Oh Christmas Palm

ORF Movie Classic | 90 min.

 

One year after the disastrous Christmas in the lap of the family - SINGLE BELLS - Kati and Jonas decide this time to celebrate Christmas far away from the family in the south of Mauritius. But they did not count on the family spirit of grandma and Lilibet. The two old ladies succeed in uniting the entire family under Christmassy decorated palm trees.

Max and Katrin or The Christmas Dog

ORF Movie Classic | 90 min.

 

Max hates the Advent season, Christmas in Vienna in particular, and generally speaking, the season horrifies him. He would fly to the South Seas, if it were not for a minor problem called Kurt, Maxs dog, who of course has to stay behind. Therefore Max looks for somebody willing to look after his dog. Katrin sniffs a chance here: She hates Christmas too, the Christmas party at her parents in particular, including the advances made by her fiancé Aurelius – who is absolutely perfect, or so it seems. Year after year, she looks out for loopholes to stay away from the Christmas disaster, but alas! As Katrin’s father is extremely allergic to dogs, a dog would be a great opportunity. Things no doubt take a different turn than originally planned.

2 Christmas Dogs

ORF Movie Classic | 90 min.

 

When their best friends get married, Max and Katrin wonder whether they themselves would be ready for such a step. At first, the prospects are bleak: Max not only fails to live up to Katrin’s parents’ standards but is also constantly on the go to save money for his own restaurant – a surprise he has in store for Katrin on Christmas Eve. Offering nothing but paper-thin excuses, Max brings home, as a new partner to his dog Kurt, the sweet little dog Trixie, who Kurt completely falls for. But then Katrin finds out that Max meets Trixie’s attractive owner on secret dates. When Katrin is offered a new job in London, she is about to put her career before her relationship. For a happy ending to occur under the Christmas tree, help from a second Christmas dog is badly needed.

 
Armin Luttenberger
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