Discovering the Törggelen, an ancient South Tyrolean tradition
What is the Törggelen?
Autumn has now arrived and in South Tyrol it is time to honour the ancient tradition of Törggelen. The tradition of the Törggelen comes from the Isarco Valley where the farmers used to celebrate the success of the harvest and the yield by offering a banquet full of autumn products as a thank you for the harvest and having received excellent fruits from the land. This not only celebrates the high quality and success of the harvest, but also augurs well for the following year. The tradition of Törggelen is still alive today and has become a typical phenomenon of South Tyrol and Trentino.
In the period from the end of September to the first days of December, the customers can go to the farms of the farmers or to the many village festivals that reproduce this ancient habit.
The word Törggelen comes from Latin and means twisting, squeezing. In particular, it refers to the press with which the grapes were pressed in the cellars. So the offer of new wine just passed to the press refers to the name of the tradition. Initially everything took place in the cellar where the grapes were pressed, only later it was moved to a more welcoming environment of the South Tyrolean houses, the “stube”.
The “stube” is the name given to a very welcoming and familiar room, halfway between a kitchen and a small living room, which can usually contain the typical tiled stove that heats the whole room.
The stube still represents the heart of the house, especially in mountain areas. In ancient times it was the hottest room where most of the time was spent and each member of the family had his task, who carved the wood, who weaved the wool, who rested and who played. For all these reasons, it is the ideal place to host a festival like the Törggelen. Initially, this autumn festival was dedicated to the close members of the family, then it was extended to the neighborhood and finally became what we know today: an opportunity to stay in good company and taste the autumn specialties of South Tyrol without forgetting the roast chestnuts.
The best way to experience the Törggelen to the full is to get shoes to take a hike in the mountains immersing yourself in the beautiful places of the South Tyrolean territory and only once you reach the typical “Buschenschank” you can enjoy the autumn specialties of the place.