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Törggele festival at Klausen

Cheers to the new wine

Decorated wagons pass through the streets of the old town of Klausen surrounded by people in traditional costumes, horses and tourists. The atmosphere is exuberant as the various associations present local specialties, play music and dance to the beat. The entire Eisacktal Valley is on its feet to accompany the parade in the Törggelen capital Klausen, because Gassltörggelen heralds the fifth season.

Since time immemorial, the farmers and grape pickers of the Eisacktal Valley have met in autumn after a successful harvest. The word Törggelen comes from the Latin word torquere, meaning "to press wine." Suser, as the grape juice before fermentation is called, is then tasted together. 
This old social tradition with wine, roasted chestnuts - the so-called Keschtn - apples, cheese, speck and Schüttelbrot (typical hard bread) was obviously not only enjoyed by farmers.

The parade is one of the highlights of the Gassltörggelen!
On sunny autumn days, locals and tourists sit together in cozy seats at the various farms (Buschenschank) in the Eisacktal Valley. They enjoy the magnificent views and all the culinary delights this fertile stretch of land has to offer at this special time of year.

The locals, however, supremely celebrate this tradition of feasting together. On the town squares and in the alleys of the historic center, each stall smells different. If you can't imagine what Tirtln with sauerkraut, barley soup with baked Krapfl, Bauernpfandl, homemade Schlutzkrapfen, and chestnut tiramisu are, follow your nose and try them! Everything here tastes delicious. But the best of all are the fire-roasted chestnuts.
Roasted chestnuts are a 'must-eat' at the festival Gassltörggelen
People dressed up, pulled their traditional costumes out of the closet, wear dirndls and lederhosen. The music band of the town Klausen and other regional bands played, Schuhplattler groups danced, jumped, clapped, made a racket, spun in circles and noisily drew attention to themselves. The old publicity dance, in which men drew attention to their acrobatic skills and thus to themselves, has become a show dance, which is now performed by women as well.

A few aisles ahead, a crowd formed around the young man with the Styrian harmonica. With a glass of wine in hand, the young people sing and dance passionately with the musician to well-known folk songs. The rhythm is infectious; an elderly South Tyrolean man puts aside his walking stick, bravely grabs his wife's arms and leads her to dance. Tourists stand beside him and sway their hips shyly.
Gassltörggelen is a festival of regional culture. Young and old want to get together and celebrate once again before everyone retires to their warm rooms in winter. The festival takes place for three consecutive Saturdays starting in mid-September. It culminates with the crowning of the new Törggele queen.

Text: Sylvia Pollex
Photos: Thomas Rötting, Live-Style-Agency/Daniel Mair
Pubblication: 2022

Törggele Queens