Silvesterchlausen - Celebrating New Year in the Canton of AppenzellAusserrhoden Switzerland
"Silvesterchlausen" is a unique winter festival with pagan roots, celebrated in a few towns in the Canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. "Silvesterchlausen" takes place on New Years Eve (31 December) as well as on the Old New Year on January 13 (Gregorian Calendar).
All masques are traditionally men. The "beautiful Clausen" wear richly decorated women's dresses, the "ugly" ones shaggy twig coats and demon masques, and the "ugly-beautiful" or forest-nature spirits wear a mix of both. All of them carry bells: The "Schelli" wear large cow bells (the bells weigh up to 30 kg / 66 lbs: the "Schelli" carry them around all day, quit a demanding task), whereas the "Rolli" or "Rollwieber" (Rolli women) wear smaller "bullet-bells" on two leather straps in the front and back of their torso.
Usually, the "Silversterchläuse" appear in groups of six; two "Rolli" and four "Schelli". Procession participants are men only. Girls are allowed to participate in the boy's group.
Ein Silvesterklaus (Schweizerdeutsch: Silvesterchlaus) ist eine maskierte Person, welche den Brauch des Silvesterklausens pflegt. Im Schweizer Kanton Appenzell Ausserrhoden wird auf diese Art die Jahreswende gefeiert.
I enjoyed this during my precious trip to Switzerland in December 2016.
New Year's Eve Spirits
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