Them Quirky Swiss Traditions

Tiina Kivelä

It was carnival time again and today walking through town to get my weekly shot of coffee bar nomadism there was still some traces left. Glitter and stuff. Even though, Swiss are effective in cleaning after parties too.

And believe it or not, in the always so organised, a bit reserved and conservative kind of a country like Switzerland carnival is not the only happening which makes one wonder what’s happened to the country for a day or two. All these quirky Swiss traditions, found in almost every region and village from the big cities to the remote mountain villages. There’s the carnival – or Fasnacht – and there’s the 1st of August (National Day), Alpabfarht (expect cows with fancier and cooler head decorations than any influencer in Coachella ever has come up with), Zürich Street Parade and many more.

Like Silvesterkläuse. or Silvesterchlausen. (Of which I have unfortunately forgotten to tell earlier.)

On the last day of 2018, I came past it – one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen – in a small town of Urnäsch in Appenzell. I mean, I’m sold with anything which involves creative costumes and funny dancing, especially in sleepy remote towns vibrating strong Twin Peaks vibes.  And this was definitely it.

Long story short, Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch in Appenzell Region (also known as Silvesterchlausen) in Eastern Switzerland happens 31st of December and 13th of January. From early in the morning until late in the evening. It’s a centuries old tradition including well made costumes, singing and dancing and well, you need to see it yourself to get the best idea.

 For us it required a wake up call at 4 and standing in the chilly rain from 5am. But I mean, just see this.

Worth it.

Silvesterchlausen Urnäsch Appenzell 2018

Ps. More informative videos of the silvesterchlausen/silvestekläuse in here & in here (in German) and read more in here.