This year’s St Leonard’s Ride, scheduled for Sunday, 5 November, is a fixture in the autumn calendar in Alta Badia. After the traditional parade, there will be a demonstration by the protagonists of the well-known ‘Oswald von Wolkenstein’ ride.
Alta Badia (South Tyrolean Dolomites/Italy) – There is no better stage than the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, for the 23rd St Leonard’s Ride, which will be celebrated on Sunday, 5 November in Alta Badia. The protagonists of the event, organised by the noriker and haflinger horse associations of Val Badia, will be the more than 100 horses and breeders from all over South Tyrol and the other Ladin valleys.
The St Leonard’s Ride is an excellent opportunity to relive ancient Ladin traditions and customs in an authentic way, as well as to discover Alta Badia during the autumn months, enjoying the tranquillity of this period.
The event begins, as per tradition, with the solemn Holy Mass, celebrated in the parish church of Badia, consecrated to St Leonard and St James. At 10.45 a.m., the parade continues, winding its way through the centre. The procession will be led by the patron saint’s float, followed by a large number of haflinger and noriker horses, traditional costumes from the various Ladin valleys and numerous festively decorated floats. These include the float with the miniature model of St Leonard’s church, built for the 20th anniversary by some local craftsmen, as well as the float with the harvest products, which will be sold at the end of the procession, the proceeds of which will be donated to charity. Thanks to the great participation of horses and breeders from various valleys, the music bands from Badia, Auta Fascia and Versciaco, and local dance groups, the spectators will be able to admire a variety of colours and traditional costumes, seen on only a few other occasions in South Tyrol. In addition, spectators will be inspired by the notes of the local music bands.
The most eagerly awaited moment of the day will certainly be the blessing of the horses and their breeders, in front of the Santa Croce mountain, which will take place immediately after the parade. This will be followed at 1 p.m. by a show by some of the riders of the renowned “Oswald von Wolkenstein” ride. Following the success of the last edition, by popular demand, the event will once again be broadcast live via streaming on the Alta Badia facebook profile.
The festival will continue in the village centre with gastronomic specialities, served by the fire brigade and farmers’ associations, surrounded by the melodies of the Versciaco, Auta Fascia and ‘Böhmische Badia’ music bands, as well as traditional group dances by the local ‘Bal Popular’ association. In the afternoon, there will be the traditional ‘törggelen’, or chestnut-roasting ritual, accompanied by a good glass of wine and traditional music.
The weekend of festivities will begin in the evening of Saturday 4 November, during which you can taste some local cuisine and listen to the music of Ladin artists.
The St Leonard’s Ride will also be held in case of bad weather.