Easter traditions Alta Pusteria: the feast of the eggs

We have already dealt with a first part of the traditions of Easter Alta Pusteria by telling what we eat, and what are the first customs of Palm Sunday. Today we move on to a tradition, that of the egg festival (Eierguffen), typical of these places.

Palm Sunday is preceded by days when children prepare bunches of olive branches and willow which will then lead to blessings in church. On Holy Thursday, hard-boiled eggs are colored, immersing them in synthetic color baths or with special decals and paintings. Good Friday is the "Friday of silence", when you really don't hear a fly flying in the villages. On Saturday the activities begin again, with the setting up of the Easter tree made of willow branches decorated with blown and painted eggs, small chicks, spring-colored bows and wooden bunnies.

On Easter Sunday, the ritual of blessing the Easter baskets opens, among the most important Easter traditions of Alta Pusteria, full of cold cuts, horseradish roots, colored eggs, various forms of bread, speck boiled on Good Friday and a lamb of sweet bread with butter.

After mass, in many families and squares, there is a very particular custom. The most famous public event takes place in Villabassa. It is called Preisguffen (or "Wettguffen", or "Eierguffen") and is a competition between two participants whose aim is to break the opponent's egg. In Villabassa in particular, the race begins on Easter Sunday immediately after the Mass, where the population gathers and buys their "weapon" in one of the surrounding stalls, colored and signed soda eggs SBJ, an acronym for "South Tyrolean Agricultural Youth "

The goal is to break the opponent's egg, first the two points and then the rounder parts, and the purchase at the stalls allows everyone to have the same type of egg and therefore not to "cheat". Who remains with the egg intact wins the prize: a basket full of local delicacies, to be consumed alone or in company. In this second case tradition has it that the place is always the Kurpark: a five-hectare park in the center, with a pond, tennis courts and bowls, playgrounds for all ages, and a pavilion for educational routes where you can discover all that you need to know about the local flora and fauna.