Customs and traditions at the Hof
We attach great value to two terms at the Hof: religious and secular customs accompany us throughout the entire year.
Starting with the pre-Christmas period, we prepare ourselves for the Rauhnächte (Twelve Days of Christmas). Our aim is to give our guests a better understanding of Advent time by the binding of the Advent wreath and by the lighting of the latter’s candles, as well as the crafting of an Advent calendar and the baking of Christmas cookies, thus allowing them to take part in our customs. All that together can be a source of contemplation and peace. During the Twelve Days of Christmas from 21 December until 6 January we repeatedly burn various herbs and resins for a different type of well-being. The most well-known of the 12 days of Christmas is definitely the night of 5 January to 6 January – Dreikönigstag (Epiphany or Twelfth Night). On that night we shroud the house and farm in incense, which is intended to protect and guard human beings, animals and machinery on the farm all year round. Our guests are welcome to take part in this smoke ritual.
Another major festival in South Tyrol and at our Hof is Easter Sunday, which is introduced by Holy Week. During this time, we prepare for the resurrection of Christ by egg painting (eggs as symbol of the fountainhead of life), by baking sweet “Easter rabbits”, “Easter hens” and “Easter lambs” (rabbit and hen as fertility symbols, lamb as symbol of innocence and purity). Here too, we like to involve our guests and let them try things out for themselves.
On Mariä Himmelfahrt (Assumption Day) on 15 August we bind the herb bouquets (South Tyrol: Kraiterbuschen) together. As this is the peak of summer, plants and herbs are available in full abundance and intensiveness during this time. The herbs are blessed in church, dried at home and we can then use them all year round for every little ache and pain.
After the harvest has been reaped, we then celebrate Erntedankfest (harvest festival), a celebration of nature. Together, we prepare a gift basket containing all the goodies of our harvest. During the mass and subsequent procession, the latter is blessed and may be consumed at home.
The entire year is thus littered with rituals, customs and festivals. We’ll be happy to tell you more about them during your stay with us.
Christmas in South Tyrol: