South Tyrol: Customs

South Tyrol is rich in folklore: there are quaint traditions and culinary specialties to experience all year round. Here's an overview of the highlights.

August 3, 2023

When the Goassl cracks

© Mauritius Images

Goaßl is the name given to a whip that is swung by young boys on ceremonial occasions. It consists of a stick and a cord of leather - and cracks impressively loud. This custom has been used to welcome spring for many generations.

Strengthening for cold days


© Getty Images

The apples in South Tyrol are crisp and juicy. They are ideal for healthy juices - and are even made into a tasty and warming mulled wine in winter. Quality apples from the region, cinnamon and cloves are used; add a little orange juice and the typical apple mulled mix is ready.

Make a wish


© VIEUe-Santifaller-Photography

In the Vinschgau Valley, the carnival is concluded with the disc cutting, which has a long tradition as a fertility ritual. In this custom, handmade Swiss stone pine discs are hurled into the valley while burning and you can make a wish.

Törggelen in autumn

© Manuel Ferrigato

In the vernacular, the grape press is called Torkl or Torggl (from Latin torculum) here- at the Törggelen in autumn, everything revolves around tasting the new wine, while chestnuts are roasted and bacon, house sausages and dumplings are eaten.

Return of the cows


© Mauritius Images

When it gets hot, sheep, cows and goats go on summer vacation to graze in the mountains. In autumn, the Almabtrieb is celebrated: the cows are decorated, brass bands play and there's a folk festival atmosphere at this custom.

Better be good!


© Mauritius Images

The Tuifl (devil) wears a mask made of wood on Krampustag (December 5); goatskins give him a wild appearance, and he makes noise with bells. The hand-carved masks are works of art - and quite scary.

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue South Tyrol Special 2023.

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