On New Year's Eve, and on 13 January ("Old New Year's Eve"), an impressive winter custom sees celebrations in the hinterland of Ausserrhoden. "Schuppeln", or groups of men dressed up as “Chläuse”, make their way around the local farms.
Primo our SWISS ZEZ profesional Photographer, will guide you and make sure you will have unique pictures and back in Zurich on time for the NY parties in Zurich. Do not miss this great opertunitiy to get swissenised in a special way!!!!
Upon reaching a farm, they form a circle, ring their bells in time with each other and perform a wordless yodel (a "Zäuerli"). They wish the family a happy New Year and are rewarded with money before moving on to the next farm.
Nowadays the New Year Chläuse are divided into three groups: the beautiful, the ugly and the beautifully ugly. The beautiful Chläuse wear full traditional dress decorated with silver lacing. On their heads they wear bonnets or hats elaborately decorated with glass beads, foil and cord and depicting scenes of everyday life. The ugly Chläuse wear shaggy coats covered in twigs, leaves or straw and cover their faces with demonic masks made of papier mache. The beautifully ugly Chläuse also use natural materials for their costumes, but theirs are intricately designed, just like those of the beautiful. Most of the members of the groups represent male figures and wear cowbells around their necks or carry two large dairy bells on both their front and back. There are at least two female figures in each group. These figures are called "Rollenweiber" and wear up to thirteen round, slitted "Rollen" bells around their torsos. The custom is very much a male affair, with the participation of girls extending only to children's groups.
This magic and photogenic Swiss custom is very ancient and unique in the world. The train from Zurich departs at 8.09 arrives Urnäsch at 9.4. We return at 13.50 and arriving in Zurich at 16.23 so that there is enough time to prepare the New Years Eve Diner :-) Price Ticket Fr. 32 with Halbtax.
It is likely that there will be snow, so don't forget to wear good shoes and warm clothing