Tschäggättä are frightening figures that wear furs, giant cowbells around their waists and carved wooden masks. Every inch of the person underneath the costume is covered to prevent their recognition. Tschäggättä walk the streets during Carnival waving large wooden sticks, scaring and/or tossing soot (nowdays confetti) at their unsuspecting victims. An unwritten rule, allows only unmarried men to do this. Go figure. Guys always try to arrange things so that they have all the fun.
It sounds like a rockin’ good time to me, but some may ask why? Tschäggättä stems from a time when winter cut the Lötschental Valley off from the outside world during winter. It was fairly isolated the rest of the year. Like many rural places, the church dominated many aspects of daily life. Local peasants saw the time around Carnival as an opportunity to let off some steam, an expression of anarchy and rebellion. Or, it could come from the heathen tradition of scaring away the spirits of winter.
The legend of Tschäggättä describes them as wild men, thieves from the no longer existing town (but poorer) across the valley that would come to steal. The thieves dressed themselves up in frightening costumes to create fear and aid in their larceny.
- Winter Carnival wins Event of the Year (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Venice Carnival 2012 gets underway with exciting new theme (travelnews.britishairways.com)
- Lucerne’s Carnival Of Nightmares | HottestNewsFeed.com (rowdypat.wordpress.com)
- ‘Kölle Alaaf!’ It’s carnival season in Cologne (europe.eurostar.com)
Pingback: Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley | Infos Press
Pingback: Tschäggättä Parade To Celebrate Carnival In The Lötschental Valley « marcelgomessweden
Pingback: The Road Through The Alps Into Switzerland’s Lötschental Valley | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: Basler-Fasnacht 2012 : A Swiss Carnival that starts in the dark « lady J's musings
Pingback: Fasnacht (Basel’s Carnival) Is Days Of Fun | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: Where the Wild Things Are | theswisswatchblog
Pingback: Tunnels | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: All Things of World
Pingback: Tschäggättä Masks | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: What Makes Basel’s Carnival Different? | schwingeninswitzerland
Pingback: A Terrible Face in the Frigid Dark: The Swiss Tschäggättä | The Year of Halloween