While visiting the amazing Hohenwerfen Castle in Austria, we stumbled across an Israeli couple who mentioned they were headed to a “Cow” Festival in the nearby town of Wagrain. They said it was a celebration for the cows coming home–returning from grazing in the mountains for the summer. A festival about cows?! Ummm—why not?! (After all, my husband did grow up on a dairy farm!)
Off we went to the small town of Wagrain, which we found bustling with Austrians who were celebrating the Bauernherbst Harvest Festival. We located parking outside the town center and we started our trek towards the commotion. Along the road began a procession of young boys with whips, as well as men on horseback. The boy’s synchronized whipping was quite impressive and fun to watch. “Snap-Snap-Snap” went the whips, and they looked awfully cute in their Austrian garb.
Town was not lacking in local tourists who showed up for this “Harvest Festival” (aka Bauernkrapfen).
There were a few things for kids to enjoy—including milking a cow made from straw.
Our kids wanted to do it, but there were several other kids waiting in line to pull on these utters—so we instead distracted them with food (it always works)!
Low and behold…we found something that didn’t involve a sausage! I’m not saying it was healthy…but it was oh-so-good.
Behold, the Austrian krapfenalm (doughnut):
These pastries are stretched into shape by hand, and then fried in boiling lard…yum. Heaven, I tell you. The Austrians have taken the American funnel cake to the next level!
After cooling they were quickly dusted with confectioner’s sugar, and topped with a dab of marmalade.
Next, they brought the cows home!
Herd after herd paraded through the streets with massive headwear.
A horse drawn carriage with musicians waited in the side wings for their turn…
The kids patiently watched and waited, and let Mom and Dad get giddy over cows.
It. Was. Awesome.
And then we joyfully walked back to our car…breathing in the beauty of Austria as we went.
Austria seriously looks like THIS. I love the traditional wood homes and hanging flower baskets filled to perfection.
On the way out of town we went through a huge roundabout that had scenes made from straw in the center. I made Jared circle over and over until I could capture a few photos.
I just had to take a photo of the harpist for my Mom, who is an excellent harp player!
The day gave entirely new meaning to the phrase, “Till the cows come home!”