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Zussl Race in Prato allo Stelvio/Prad am Stilfserjoch

South Tyrolean carnival

Carnival in South Tyrol has many faces: some are eerily beautiful, some are colourful, and some are imaginative. Cowboys, Native Americans, princesses, and unicorns are joined by all kinds of strange creatures, who are full of mischief. What the Egetmann Parade is to Termeno/Tramin, the Zussl Race is to the inhabitants of Prato allo Stelvio/Prad am Stilfserjoch, who banish winter with loud riots and noise.

Every year on Fat Thursday, the village’s young men cover their whole bodies with white robes that are adorned with colourful mesh details and flowers. Tied around their waists, they wear cowbells weighing up to 20 kilos. Then they roam loudly through the alleys of the otherwise quiet and tranquil Val Venosta/Vinschgau village. The so-called Zussl are accompanied by six white horses – young boys dressed horses. The parade is moved along by a coachman, who skilfully snaps his long whip (Goaßl) while the sower throws sawdust into the crowd. The strange team is followed by the farmer and his wife, the servant, and the farm girl. At the very end, the "Zoch" and the "Pfott", a couple wrapped in rags, concludes the parade. A great spectacle for young and old.