Return of the cattle

Every year at the end of summer, when the cattle returns from the alpine pastures to their stalls in the Val Pusteria, local people meet for a big festival.

The so-called “Almabtrieb” (literally: return from the alpine pastures) is the end of the cattle’s summer holiday on the alpine pastures of the Val Pusteria. After several months of grazing on green and fertile meadows, in the middle of September the cattle is decorated with bells, wreaths and flowers before the farmers bring it back down to the valley.

When the cattle arrives in the valley, it is welcomed by some folklore groups like the “Goaslschnöller”, music bands and many local people who celebrate and thank god that the cattle has come home safely.

Some “ Almabtriebe” are very famous and popular even beyond the national boarders, like for example the “Kiekemma” in Riva di Tures in the Valle Aurina. In Maranza, Terento, Rodengo, Sesto and some other villages the farmers’ wives prepare some delicious traditional meals. The return of the cattle is also celebrated in Austria: in Hopfgarten in the Defereggen Valley and in Hochfügen in the Zillertal Valley.

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