In September, Auffach in Wildschönau rounds up the herds for the great autumn cattle drive. The coming home of the cattle for winter is celebrated with a huge Alpine Festival and craft and farmers’ market.
After the “Gru-Night”- the final evening before the journey home from the Alpine grazing pastures – the animals are milked and decked out in garlands of flowers and ribbons, with bells attached to their heavy leather collars – "aufbischt" as the Wildschönau locals put it. Soon after dawn on the great day, which is September 21st, over 500 animals are herded for the great autumn cattle drive in Auffach in Wildschönau Valley.
Celebrations down in the valley commence by 10:00am with an Alpine Festival and a craft and farmers’ market at the base of Schatzberg Gondola in Auffach. Stalls are set up on the car park, selling all sorts of authentic Tirolean specialties and refreshments. Local farmer’s wives offer mouth-watering fare such as the strange sounding but delicious tasting “Brodakrapfen”, “Schmalznudeln”, cheese and bacon delicacies, and more locally sourced and produced delights. Artisans display their ancient handicrafts and traditional techniques. Auffach Town Band traditionally opens the festival, before the first cows from the surrounding pastures reach the village at around 12:00 noon.