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Group after group of these young men carried bowls heavily laden with artistically arranged grapes.
Before the festivities can really get underway, first these grapes must be taken into the church and be blessed.

The whole town's one big jolly carnival, with gayly decorated booths filled with products from the vineyards.

The supreme order of the day is to dance, have a good time, forget all your troubles, and last but not least, drink the new wine.

And here in the park there's a big barrel, that most generously pours forth this year's wine free, to everyone who wants to sample it. And it looks like just about everyone does.

The king of the fest and his court start the parade. Its motif stressing wine and its use.

One autumn, many years ago, the people here felt that their wine was undrinkable, and began to pour it out into the streets. When the emperor heard about this, he disapproved of the wine going to waste, and told the people to send it to the church builders in Vienna, to mix the cement with. So, some of Austria's leading churches have the distinction of being built with wine.

Meanwhile, back in the park, the bottomless barrel is still the most popular attraction. Well, this ought to give his photographs an interesting slant.

You can't say they don't have a good time here.

So it goes all day long, but in Austria the festivals aren't just for the people! Even the animals have their celebrations. High up in the mountain pastures, the cows spend the summer months grazing, while their owners down in the valleys below farm their lands and get the food in the barns before the frost comes. When that's done, it's time for the cows to return home, and that's when their festival begins.

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