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When cattle are herded from their alpine summer grazing pastures to the valley in autumn, their safe homecoming is widely celebrated with colourful festivals – here are the best ceremonial cattle drives at a glance.
Over 2,100 alpine farms nestled amidst the Arlberg and Kaiser Mountains, Karwendel and Lienz Dolomites accommodate around 110,000 heads of cattle, 70,000 sheep. 5,500 goats and 2,000 horses for summer grazing. When the cattle are herded back down to the valley after around four months, local people with the holidaymakers celebrate their safe homecoming in spectacular style. The animals are decked out in magnificent headdresses, garlands of flowers and ribbons, with bells attached to their heavy leather collars in thanks for an accident free summer on the alpine pastures. This occasion is known as “Almabtrieb” in German.