The Salzburg Advent festival was born in 1946. Carried by the longing for a better, more peaceful world, musicians and singers met around Tobi Reiser the Elder to commemorate fathers, sons and friends who had not returned home from the war. It was a silent, devout celebration with familiar songs and sages, heartfelt thoughts, religious popular piety and traditional customs. The ceremony became an annual tradition and the number of guests increased from year to year. They moved to ever larger premises and finally in 1960 to the newly built Große Festspielhaus. Today this unique "original" inspires around 36,000 guests from over 40 countries all over the world every year.
What makes Advent Singing in Salzburg so special is the simple yet profound way in which it presents the events of Advent. Carried by the human longing for harmony and peace and seized by the Advent power of silence, the biblical events are viewed from new perspectives every year. In the summer of the Salzburg Festival, the famous Jedermann fascinates the audience with the mystery of his finiteness. In Advent it is in a similar dimension the wonderful mystery of the birth of a child that touches the hearts of the guests. Childhood memories awaken and make us think. The cheerful play of the shepherd children leads spontaneously to heartfelt laughter and at the end to tears of joy when the "Andachtsjodler" is sung together.