Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

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Princeton, MAINE USA

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When the Cows Come Home

A human-bovine-floral custom of the Alps decorates the herds for their descent from high pastures and celebrates the herders who work with them.

From our vantage point in the land of parched, flat and “virtual,” heaven looks like this:


Viehscheid in Oberstaufen, Germany, Sept. 12, 2011

Photo: Ralf Lienert

It’s the event of the season in the Alps, as the herds come down from their high summer pastures to spend fall and winter in the valley stables. And it has to be one of the most marvelous human-floral customs of Europe.

We’ve written before about its Swiss-French-speaking version, the Desalpe, but these days we’re trending Germanic, longing to be in Bavaria’s Obermaiselstein this weekend, or the Zillertal valley of Austria.

September 24th will be the last big day for these ceremonial “sortings of the cattle,” known in Germany as Viehscheid, in Austria as Almabtrieb. Will you be there?

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Posted by Julie on 09/22 at 05:03 PM
Culture & SocietySecular CustomsPermalink