A peculiar tradition with Bavarian roots is the so-called “Kirchtagsmichl”, a life-size rag doll. It is posed in the villages of the Val Pusteria valley during the fairs

During the village fairs in the Val Pusteria valley, a very special custom attracts attention: the so-called “Kirchtagsmichl”! This life-size rag doll is dressed in the respective village costume and fastened to a high tree trunk near the festival.

Following an old custom, it is necessary to steal the doll of the neighbouring village. Of course the “Kirchtagsmichl” is guarded and the watchdog is never alone… far too risky. Again and again friends and villagers come over and bring food and drink. And a good shot of schnaps must not be missing as well… This tradition probably comes from Bavaria, but it was originally celebrated during the harvest festival.

Today the “Kirchtagsmichl” has mainly symbolic character, but in some villages the custom is still carried out in its origin and guards are still present so that the “Michl” cannot be stolen. But the focus is of course on the fair itself, where special delicacies from the Val Pusteria valley are served.

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