Fasnacht Carnival Procession in Lötschental 2013…

As much as I had wanted to finish this entry last week, I did not manage to do so, but … better late than never.

As I had mentioned in the previous entry, the Tschäggättä (or scary-masked figures) only appear in organised groups on two occasions during the Carnival week in Lötschental. Once during the Tschäggättu-Procession (which is a night procession on Thursday) and again during the Lötschental Carnival Procession (also called Fasnacht festival in German), which is a day event on Saturday.

As we do not live either in Wiler or even close to this remote mountain village … naturally we opted for the Saturday procession on 9 February lah! An email sent to their Tourism Office requesting about information on the Carnival was very quickly replied with the necessary info on where the procession would be held, when it would start and how to get to the village using public transport. Sooo efficient … and so very Swiss (German, the hubby made me add)!! hehehe … 🙂

And despite our worry that it might snow on that day as had been forecast by the méteo, we were very happy to be able to enjoy the carnival with the sun shining so brightly … even though it was very cold!

DSCN1200 A

As we arrived very early, we decided to seek refuge in a restaurant called ‘Sporting‘ after having quickly checked out the small village of Wiler. Above was the view outside from the restaurant which was located near the bus stop and cable car station. We could see more and more people coming to the village as the start of the procession got nearer.

DSCN1201 A

And just outside the restaurant, I could see the participants getting ready for the start of the procession. Eager to join in … we soon made our way out of the restaurant.

Some of the participants were seen busy making last minute touches to their props before the start of the procession … while others seemed all set and were just waiting for the show to start! It was really nice to be able to walk amongst the participants and soak up the excitement of the participants. 🙂

DSCN1223 A

The queue that had already started to form along the stretch of the main street in the village from outside the  restaurant … all the way up to the heart of the village.

DSCN1238 A

And soon the carnival began … with this band  (the first of several such bands – called Gugge in Swiss German) kick-starting the procession.

The band was soon followed by this group of Tschäggättä … much to the excitement of the visitors to the carnival procession.

Monkey Fasnacht procession in Wiler, Lötschental, 9 February 2013

They were later followed by one group after another … some big, some small … interpersed with several Gugge bands that provided lively music during the procession … as well as more Tschäggättä!

Fasnacht Badge

By the way, these two gentlemen were among several who were selling the Lötschental Fasnacht badge to visitors during the procession. The badge cost CHF 5 and entitled the wearer to join in the celebration at the gym cum communal hall after the end of the procession. As we would normally do for such events, we purchased a badge each so as to to show our support for this event.

Okay, enjoy the rest of the procession … or rather some selected snapshots of this interesting carnival procession.  I will let the pictures tell their stories lah! 😉

DSCN1261 A

DSCN1267 A


DSCN1289 A

DSCN1299 A

DSCN1306 A

DSCN1315 A

DSCN1321 A

DSCN1324 A

DSCN1327 A

(Some young Tschäggättä taking part in the carnival procession. They looked so cute and not at all frightening, do you not agree? :))

DSCN1331 A

DSCN1339 A

DSCN1346 A


DSCN1363 A

DSCN1376 A

DSCN1374 A

One of the few participating groups that offered free tasting to the watching crowd … in this particular instance, some beef products and milk!

DSCN1384 A

DSCN1386 A

DSCN1393 A

DSCN1399 A

DSCN1407 A

DSCN1414 A

DSCN1415 A

And to close the procession, more Tschäggättä … big and scary ones, this time … and definitely living up to their names!

While these small and shy Tschäggättä clung close to their daddy Tschäggättä

… the others were busy looking for victims!

Although I might not be very lucky when it comes to winning prizes during lucky draws, the same could not be said when it comes to being chosen as special victim of the Tschäggättä … arggh! I was caught a second time (bottom right picture) on that day … and this time, it was not easy to try to get away from the much taller and bigger Tschäggättä.

But guess what? Despite being caught by the Tschäggättä twice … that did not stop me (and the hubby) from following the Tschäggättä as they made their way through the village! hehehe …

I think following the Tschäggättä is one of the highlights of the carnival procession … which I shall share more photos in the next entry lah!

By the way … my favourite person during the procession has got to be this little chap … who came prepared with a bag of confetti and was very busy during the carnival procession throwing the confetti! Cute is he not?! 😀

DSCN1287 A

Related entry on Tschäggättä :

12 thoughts on “Fasnacht Carnival Procession in Lötschental 2013…

  1. Pingback: Carnival Swiss style, Tschäggättu procession 2013 | à la mode de chez nous

  2. Pingback: GenevaLunch 2014 guide, Swiss carnivals - What's on in Geneva, Lausanne, Morges, Nearby France, Nyon, Other areas, Switzerland, Valais, Vevey, Montreux - GenevaLunch Events

  3. There is also Silvesterkläuse at Urnäsch (canton of Appenzell) on 31 December and 13 January.
    The keywords Silvesterchläusen Urnäsch on the picture section of either of the two major search engines should yield many pictures of these strange green men, for instance http://www.urnaesch.ch/img/up/Silvester2.JPG
    There is another group of people associated with this tradition and who wear costumes more typical of this region. Both groups make noise with the bells they carry and sing: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlq4hr_silvesterchlausen-schweizer-trailer_shortfilms or http://youtu.be/Edvo8eQi8LQ


  4. Thanks so much for the info on the carnivals at Evolene and Schwytz, Paul. I am sorry for my ‘very slow’ reply as I did not see your message earlier. I am hoping to catch the procession this year, any one of them ie. Loeschental, Evolene or Schwytz will be fine. 🙂 I hope you and Sity had a lovely Christmas with family and may you both have a Fantastic 2014.


  5. Yes, there is another similar event which is held in the same canton (Valais in French, Wallis in German – there are two linguistic zones), early January, in the beautiful valley of Hérens, in what has now become a small town, Evolène. Because the carnival of Evolène is less well known than its counterpart in the valley of Lötschen (it was not ‘rediscovered’ by Swiss Germans living in urban areas and who therefore entertained probably too romantic a view of the Tschäggättu procession), it seems to have been able to preserve more of its original nature (so no processions with bands playing music it would seem from the photos I have perused – as we have not yet been there); for instance, it involves three groups of characters: the peluches (the skins), the empaillés (the straw men) and the Maries (women). Like its counterpart, this event is spread over several days. There are some videos on the association’s website: http://www.carnaval-evolene.ch/la-tradition. There is also a procession of masked devils that takes place in the canton of Schwytz (at Einsiedeln), but I doubt that they run amok in the streets (http://www.einsiedeln-tourismus.ch/en/sightseeing-culture/customs/einsiedeln-carnival). Sorry that you caught the flu: you will have to be careful in March and April when there are bound to be some warmer days and not be tempted to dress lightly because there can be some steep drops in the temperature at that time. Many people tend to forget this and subsequently get colds or the flu.


  6. Thanks for the info, Paul and CT….so there are also other places where they hold such events? Do you think you can let me know of any others, if you so happen to know (when the time comes) or if you are planning to go….yes, maybe we can meet there…lol, and be each others’ look-out if a Tschaggattu tries to sneak up on us :). It was so cold today, wanted to skate at the Lutry rink but decided not to since it was freezing, plus I just recovered from my bout of flu.

    Looking forward to the next entry on the band 🙂


  7. Pingback: Carnival Swiss style, Tschäggättu procession 2013 « à la mode de chez nous

  8. Hi SL, yes it is a yearly affair and next year’s dates are already out. 27 Feb 2014 for the night procession and 1 Mar 2014 for the Saturday carnival procession. Not sure if Paul and I will be going again next year, but if we do, then maybe we can go together. However, there are several of such festivals in Switzerland in winter… so we might decide to go and see some others that we have not seen. Anyhow, next year kita boleh bincanglah … 🙂


  9. Salam Kak Maz, I was just thinking of sending you an email to ask how you are doing and then I saw this comment from you. I am glad that your health is improving. Tak pe, biar pelan asalkan sembuh. Hope you will recover 100% soon. I am fine, still coughing sometimes but at least I no longer have to stay indoor! Great to know that your sowing and planting is going well! Do not forget to keep adding soil to the potatoes as the plant grow taller. If not, you will not get that many potatoes. This year, I tak sabar nak tanam blue potatoes. It has started growing some shoots but I still cannot start planting them since we are still getting some snowfall! Some of my biji benih dah macam merajuk pasal they have grown too big for their pots! haizzz …

    Memang interesting and unique, this festival … and so fun! It can be a bit scary for children, I agree. I think if I happen to bump into them at night, I would be afraid too. But must be thrilling to see them marching through the village during the night procession! Rasa macam nak tengok, tapi macam tak berani! hehehe …


  10. Salam CT, nampak interesting and unique. Tapi bit scary for kids, I think. Ayuni will definitely not want to see this. By the way, seeds dah semai, the tomatos dah naik about 2 cm but melon tak nampak lagi (ini yang kak maz nak sangat2 tumboh). sabar lagi tengok another week or so. I have grown some bawang and trying kentang also – inspiration from CT lahhh. Alhamdulillah, my health has improved a bit but masih tak boleh tunduk 100% and I have not driven my car for almost 3 weeks sampai battery dah mati. Hope you are in good health. Enjoy and have a good weekend. Salam to Paul.


  11. Yes, it is held every year and has been for quite some time: some claim this local custom goes back to the 16th century; it probably has to be put into relation with one of the many forms* the Carnival developed into in Europe (the Carnival itself is probably related to the Saturnalia festivities of the Romans). The Catholic Church managed to ban the Tschäggättü (and Tschäggättä) in 1827 (as it lasted longer and was a little more disruptive with Tschäggättä breaking into people’s homes, smearing the faces of those caught with ashes and leaving with food), but it reappeared in the early 20th century, apparently.
    It is great fun as, I hope, you will be able to see for yourself next year.
    * PS the musical bands, on the other hand, certainly show the influence of the Basle Carnival – as you will be able to see in a subsequent entry 😉


  12. Looks so fun, CT….I must try and go next year (it’s a yearly event, right?)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s