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Watch: Fun in the Alpine sun, until the cows come home

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The cows are dressed to impress for their return
The cows are dressed to impress for their return -
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Reuters
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It's back to work for the cows of Italy's northern Trentino region, who are returning from their Alpine summer holidays.

The cows spend summer eating mountain grass and herbs before farmers return them to their stables for winter when the temperature begins to drop.

Known as the "Desmalgada" (meaning "return from the alpine pasture"), the tradition has been turned into a local day of festivities and the cows receive a rapturous welcome as they return, dressed in their best cowbells, accessorised with floral headdresses – or, as local farmer Stefano Benchimol put it – "their party clothes".

In the town of Cogolo in the Peio area of Trentino, some 1,170 metres up in the Alps, cows strut their stuff in a fashion parade through the centre of town.

"These animals in June went up the mountain in order to eat the sweeter grass and herbs, now they have to return to their homes," explained tourism officer Viviana Marini.

"This is a big party because the cows are returned to their owners, who accompany them on their descent and then show them off in a parade through the town to show how strong and beautiful these animals have become during their time in the alpine pastures," she said.