It’s not too often that someone can say the phrase “til the cows come home” and mean it. But in the alpine regions of Europe, during the autumn season, this is exactly what takes place.
The Almabtrieb is a pastoral custom which involves herds of cows that are decorated with colorful headdresses and bells being led to their stables for the winter.
Each summer farmers graze their cattle at high altitudes. However, this can be a risky venture as the cows could get injured by falling down or even get struck by lighting. Thus, when summer in the Alps goes well, it’s a parade-worthy achievement. The Almabtrieb means a successful summer with no loss of livestock and a thank you to God. Everyone in the village comes to celebrate with music, food, and drinks. The custom is still widely practised in many farming communities and attracts many tourists each year.
So if you’re interested in witnessing this unique cultural event then you’ll want to go the Almabtrieb on your next visit to Europe.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Suzanne Urpecz, creator and editor of The Hungarian Girl. Click on my About page for more info.