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Autumn cattle drive in South Tyrol

As summer in the Alpine pastures draws to a close, the herds return from the high-Alpine pastures to their stables and are given a ceremonial welcome in many places.

Transhumance has always been an important time period in the farming calendar. The cows are decorated with ornate wreaths, the calves are adorned with fresh flowers and the sheep are colour-coded. At the same time, the opportunity to sample rural fare, performances by the "Goasslschnöller” (whip masters) and traditional music are not to be missed. On the Ritten mountain pastures, the "Barthlmastag" is celebrated on 24 August, the day of St. Bartholomew. Meanwhile, the sheep drive in the Schnalstal valley is unique in the Alps. This spectacular drive when over 3,500 sheep are moved from their summer pastures in the Ventertal valley (AT) over the main chain of the Alps into the Schnalstal valley takes place in mid-September and is an intangible UNESCO World Heritage event. At the traditional shepherds' festivals in Kurzras/Maso Corto and Vernagt/Vernago, you can enjoy specialities revolving around sheep. Both people and livestock also return to the valley from the Alpine pastures of upper Vinschgau valley. In addition to numerous autumn cattle drives, visitors also experience the "Schafschoad”, i.e. the traditional shearing of the sheep.

Autumn cattle drive events

Between mid-August and mid-October, Transhumance is an important occasion on the farmer's calendar. From Ritten/Renon to the Seiser Alm Alpine pasture and from Sexten/Sesto to the Schnalstal valley: find out here where and when the autumn cattle drives take place in the vicinity of your lodging.

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Which other traditions are not to be missed?

Be there as the whole village comes together for the Kirchtag festival, when the cows are led down into the valley after spending the summer at the Alpine pasture, or when the whole mountain range is lit up as a reminder of the Sacred Heart vow of 1796.