• Alpabfahrt Pradame
    Ceremonial cattle drive in fall
  • Ceremonial cattle drive
    Cow with traditional decoration at Alpe Sücka
  • Ceremonial cattle drive and traditional fairs
    Cow bells in Steg
  • Ceremonial cattle drive
  • Ceremonial cattle drive and traditional fairs
    The Bremimarkt fair in Steg
  • Ceremonial cattle drive
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Home:  Culture & cuisine:  Customs & traditions:  Ceremonial cattle drive

Ceremonial cattle drive

The driving down of cattle at the end of the summer from grazing pastures high in the Alps may no longer be the major event it once was, but it is still well worth a visit to marvel at the elaborate decoration of the cows and hear their bells ringing as they make their way down into the valley.

Each area has its own customs when it comes to the tradition of bringing livestock down into the valley for the winter. The exact timing of the event depends on the amount of fodder remaining on the pastures in the mountains and, of course, on the weather - a cold period can result in the animals being brought down earlier than originally planned.

Upon arrival in the valley, the cattle and sheep are judged by experts at three local fairs ("Prämienmärkte"). Tradition dictates that the farmers in Triesenberg hold the first of these fairs two weeks before the first Saturday in October. The next fair is held on the first Saturday of October in Vaduz, where the animals from the remaining municipalities in the Oberland region are shown. A week later, the third and final fair is held for farmers from the Unterland region. In Vaduz and Eschen the cattle fair is held as part of the larger annual fair.

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