3 weeks ago
The Viehscheid in Immenstadt, Germany.
Viehscheid refers to the descent of the cattle from their mountain pastures at the end of the grazing season, where they are then returned to their owners. The route taken by the cattle goes through the village to the gathering place, where the herd is split up and each individual animal returned to its owner. The Kranzrind (Crown Cow) has a very special role to play in the event. The chosen animal leads the herd and wears an elaborate headdress. The headdress are adorned with the traditional “Fuikl”, special crowns worn for the best cow. The farmers themselves weave the crowns from spruce and fir branches – and decorate them with colourful wood shavings. It is meticulous work that requires nimble fingers. Each crown represents around 60 hours of work. The loud bells around the necks of the cows are designed to protect them fromhostile demons and bring them safely down into the valley. There are two kinds of bells: “Glocken”, which are cast, and “Schellen”, which are wrought from plate metal. The resulting combination of fine, high tones and deep, earthy notes lends the day its distinctive sound.
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