Carnival tradition "Zusslrennen"
The "Zusslrennen" is a unique and traditional carnival event taking place every year on Carnival Thursday in Prad in Vinschgau. From time immemorial this custom has been used in order to expel the winter and its evil spirits.
The fellows and men of the village disguise themselves as so called “Zussl”: with completely white clothes, colourful stitches and flowers. Furthermore they carry cow bells weighing up to 20 kg. It is supposed that the “Zusslrennen” has its seeds in ancient fertility rites, because in the procession participate also six white horses (disguised men, too) pulling a plough through the village.
They are followed by a waggoner with lash, a seeding peasant, farmer and farmer’s wife, menial and maidservant and finally a couple called “Zoch” and “Pfott”. All participants have different agricultural equipment. The second part of the procession is led by a figure called “Triebschelle”. This is the person with the biggest and heaviest bell, wearing a white coat with colourful flowers, too and behind him there are the strepitous “Zussl”.
The procession continues to go through the streets for hours and the “Zussl” with their bells expel the demons and the cold of winter and awaken nature.