Kirchtagsmichl: the harvest festival in Val Pusteria
The Kirchtagsmichl, a tradition of the Val Pusteria, is a life-size straw doll, dressed in the traditional costumes of the Val Pusteria, which is hung on a spruce tree in the town square during the festival.
It is a real event that recalls the tree planting in May and dates back to the rites that were once used to promote fertility. Born probably from Bavaria during the harvest festival, which coincides with the Thanksgiving festival, Kirchtagsmichl literally means "church day"Or" the anniversary of the blessing of the church ".
A few days before the festival, a large spruce tree is felled and prepared to be displayed in the square, cleaning it of bark and branches. It will be a kind of greasy tree to which the Kirchtagsmichl will be hung fool, and the symbol of fertility.
Tradition says that initially every country had as its goal that of steal the puppet from the neighboring countries. During the night the puppet was then guarded by guardians chosen to protect it from neighbors' jokes. The theft was a sign of great shame for the country that suffered it, therefore the guardian was treated very carefully by fellow citizens and continually received food, drink and grappa during his vigil.
Today it has remained the symbol of the puppet, and few countries still try to attempt the theft. The party is mostly remembered in all the countries with festivals where to find delicacies and gastronomic specialties of the Alto Adige area, and music of musical bands, really not to be missed. It is definitely worth a visit and, as soon as you are there, a nice hunt for the last remaining guardians!
After the three days of festivities the Kirchtagsmichl is freed up for auction to raise funds for charitable purposes.