Tradition and events in Val Gardena
When it comes to history and tradition, we often think of a faraway world, of a world that was totally different from our, something mythical or fictional.
But it’s exactly tradition that proves the existence of that world, which must have been really enchanting.
Music and dances are the most lively elements of this precious heritage.
Folk dances were born to fulfil a social function and had a metaphoric significance. They were performed with the accompaniment of drums and other traditional instruments and they represented veritable rituals. Some dances were performed to celebrate the love between spouses, others to pay homage to the fertility of the earth, still others to celebrate the passage of the young to adulthood…
The tradition of South Tyrol includes plenty of funny folk dances!
No doubt about this: when it comes to tradition, South Tyrol has always fantastic tales to tell.
The Schuhplatter is certainly the most popular dance and in ancient times only men could perform it.
As suggested by the name, which means “one who claps and strikes his shoes”, the dance is fast and almost acrobatic. The performer claps his hands on his legs and on the soles of his shoes, jumps, whirls and slaps himself.
The Schuhplatter was originally a form of courtship and had no fixed rules until the mid-nineteenth century.
Today, this dance is still performed in South Tyrol (also by women), especially to gladden folk festivals and social events.
There are also other variants.
For example, some dancers use benches: they dance around them, go up them or strike them against the floor to the rhythm of the music.
In the “woodman” variant, dancers turn around some logs and then chop them with their hatchets, still to the rhythms of the music.
There is also the “mill” variant, in which a dancer representing the axis stands in the middle, while three other dancers representing the vanes turn around him.
Well… taking part in these enjoyable events is a really unique experience and it is also a great opportunity to grasp the essence of South Tyrol!
We would be happy to meet you in Val Gardena!