Inside Silvesterchlausen: Experiencing an Appenzell Tradition Up Close
On Saturday, I got the opportunity to experience a longstanding tradition from the canton of Appenzell Outer Rhodes: Silvesterchlausen. It takes place on the last day of the year, and since the Appenzellers resisted the Gregorian calendar for a very long time, many villages still celebrate Silvesterchlausen on the 13th of January, which is the last day of the year according to the Julian calendar.
For Silvesterchlausen, men (and sometimes boys) dress up in elaborate home-made costumes as either ugly, beautiful, or beautiful-ugly (which is somewhere in between) “Silvesterchläuse”. They then march through the villages and stop at many houses to yodel and receive drinks (and the occasional donation).
Watch my video to see what a day with the Silvesterchläuse looks like!