he Ortles region is a region of ancient traditions, and the end of winter is a particularly busy time in its calendar of events. Every two years, Stelvio welcomes the spring with the customary “Pfluagziachn” (pulling of the plow): the hustle and bustle begins at 12 o’clock sharp with a prayer in the church square. Another fascinating sight is the mysterious Maschgertanz carnival celebration in Prato, in which silent dancers in disguise make their way from guesthouse to guesthouse. Equally popular with visitors is Prato’s zany Zussl Race, held every year on Shrove Tuesday, in which the “Zussl” proceed through the town dispersing evil winter spirits with their jangling bells. A similarly noisy ritual is the Klosn procession in Stilfs, which takes place annually on the Saturday before or after St. Nicholas’ Day.