Wednesday 22 April 2015

S is for Swiss tradition and for Silvesterkläuse

and possibly also for Strange...

... but they are, at least, unique.  You can find these creatures in a small area in the north east of Switzerland, Apenzell, and only on the dates of 31 December and 13 Janyary.  Rare indeed.

People, men usually because the costumes are heavy, dress up and wander from house to house, wishing people a happy new year.  There are three different types of costume: "Schöne" (meaning beautiful), "Schö-Wüeschte" (meaning pretty ugly) and the "Wüeschte" (meaning ugly).

The Schöne wear costumes similar to traditional Swiss costumes while the Wüeschte two varieties use natural material - twigs, leaves and moss.  All have bells front and back, and they all wear masks. The beautiful have pretty masks, the fairly ugly have masks of natural materials and the ugly have scary masks.  It's hard to say which variety of ugly they are in the picture.


  1. Aww, they're adorable! :)

  2. Oh I have heard of this custom. I think it is part of the "wildman" thing going on in the Alps. I can't remember the reason behind it but it is part of Christmas and the aftermath I believe. What a great postcard!

  3. WOW...Very cool. You continue to amaze me with your cards, and the history you post about them. Like you I am catching up, so literally going through my R post yesterday hitting all my blog list folks on their R's, and today doing S's and hoping to get back to T's. One letter at a time.
    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond

  4. What a cool idea, a postcard a day, love your theme!
    As for Chläuse, I am Swiss, and I wrote a post about the classic ones last season in case you're interested:
    Otherwise I am a fellow A-Z blogger. Cheers!


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