Alpine Cattle Drive and Alpine Festival
... in Brixen im Thale, Kirchberg and Westendorf
The highlights for the start of the autumn season in Brixen, Kirchberg and Westendorf are doubtlessly the farmers returning home, driving the cattle from the Alpine pastures back to the meadows in the valley. The Alpine Cattle Drive is an old tradition and a firework of colours, smells and sounds.
The "Hoamfahrt" (homecoming) of the herds of cows is an important festival, particularly in Brixental Valley.
As part of the Alpine Cattle Drive, the townships host Alpine festivals with traditional and folksy music.
But it’s not only the homecoming of the Alpine cattle that is celebrated, you also have the opportunity to sample typical Brixental fare, watch craftsmen at work and buy genuine farmer products.
The cows - but often also sheep, goats and horses - have spent summer on the Alpine pastures of the Kitzbühel Alps together with the Alpine herdsmen and shepherds. The Alpine Cattle Drive is thus the thanksgiving, when the healthy cattle return from the Alpine pasture back to the stables. Only when all animals from an alpine pasture return home safely from the alpine summer, will they be adorned for their return into the valley. Garlands from fir sprigs, colourful ribbons, bells, mirrors and Alpine flowers them grace the cows. But if there has been an accident on the Alpine pasture or a death in the “Hoamathaus” (home) in the valley, the cows are not adorned at all or will be wearing a “crape”. This consists of black ribbons.