The Swiss cow fighting in Valais
Around 1920 the Rhone Valley still existed of mainly agricultural fields and most families were owners of the so called ‘Hérens-cows’. In this period Valais counted over 31’500 cows, which came down to 1 Hérens cow to every 4 habitants.
Today this number significantly decreased to 1 Hérens cow every 25 habitants. The Hérens cow has been properly recognized by the Federation as a race in 1884, specifying the detailed rules and guidelines for its breed. Nowadays there are 865 breeders of this specific race, playing an active role in the meat and milk industry. However, the val d’Hérens cow not only stands for its industry but plays a significant social role during the cow fighting events that take place every year. This tradition, draws many breeders and a large audience and is still very alive up until this day!
THE QUEEN OF THE VAL D’HERENS COWS
Each spring a series of impressive cow fighting events take place in the region which you can freely attend. You will witness a local tradition of cow fighting that is a part of the Swiss culture for many years. A cow selects her opponent and then the fight begins: heads clash and horns lock, each cow trying to get a good hold. Then they stand firmly and push with all their strength, the stronger one forcing the weaker to retreat. After the contest, which may continue for several minutes, the loser turns around and runs away, followed by the winner, who encourages the loser to remember “who’s the boss” by adding a few more blows with her horns. The fight ends as soon as the defeated opponent turns away, which luckily means that injuries are extremely rare. At the end of the day the undefeated cow is crowned ‘queen of the queens’ and she gets crowned with flowers and ribbons. Each victory defines the order the cow will maintain in the herd throughout her stay in the Alps.
VISIT THIS TRADITIONAL EVENT IN THE NENDAZ AREA
This month two cow fighting events will take place within a 45min drive from our properties around Nendaz. What are you waiting for? While you visit to look for your dream property to buy in the Swiss Alps, you can experience this typical Swiss tradition!
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