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!
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.
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. 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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! 😉
(Some young Tschäggättä taking part in the carnival procession. They looked so cute and not at all frightening, do you not agree? :))
One of the few participating groups that offered free tasting to the watching crowd … in this particular instance, some beef products and milk!
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?! 😀