If you go to the the Lötschental Valley‘s Carnival parade in Wilder, Switzerland, be ready for Tschäggättä to surprise and scare you. Tschäggättä roam the streets for days before and after the parades creating mischief and scaring unsuspecting victims.
Witches sold the Lötschentaler Chiächlini, the traditional fatty, sugary Carnival/Fat Tuesday/Fat Thursday treat. Although I couldn’t find any mention of Lötschentaler Chiächlini, I found this recipe for Swiss Carnival Cookies (Fasnachtsküchlein) that seems similar. They were good, a cross between a donut and a cookie. They would have been even better fresh out of the fryer. I wanted to dip mine in chocolate.
Lots of bands helped make the atmosphere festive. They played everything from versions of Metallica, Bon Jovi and Kiss to Lady Gaga. It was easy to pick out the foreigners because they were they ones dancing like idiots to the music.
It must have been a long day for the marching bands and at over a mile in altitude, it was important for them to stay hydrated.
Although Tschäggättä were everywhere, there was much more to the parade.
People of all ages took part and even the smaller participants wore costumes. Many of the floats appeared to have a political bent. This one seemed to compare the value of the Euro to that of shredded paper or confetti.
Sarkozy is always present for discussions on the Euro. He didn’t talk much though as he was passing out tasty beverages.
Traditionally, Tschäggättä were only the villages unmarried men. Although there is no way of knowing who (or what) is under the furs and masks, Tschäggättä has reportedly expanded to married men and children. These spooky figures were all women. Their eeriness appeared better suited for haunting than mischief-making.
Both participants and onlookers had a jolly good time. Maybe some people were having a bit too much fun. This costumed observer was scolded by an older Swiss gentleman for kicking snow. Über Swiss.
Costumed characters on floats tossed confetti, blew bubbles, sang and handed out drinks, cookies and candy.
I got into the fun by scooping up confetti during a lull in the action and tossing it on our unsuspecting friends. Luckily, I was able to scoop up my wallet that went flying.
I wasn’t the only one horsing around. These little observers came prepared with silly string to spray on the parade’s participants.
This group chose global warming as their theme. The tiny children dressed up as snow balls were adorable and seemed to be enjoying themselves.
The arc needed some minor repairs right in front of us. We assisted by holding their large bottles of Sangria. They rewarded us with some. The costumes were an example of cultural differences. I don’t know if we would see such painted faces or Fu Manshus in the United States.
The parade finished with a procession of over 100 Tschäggättä!
Sometimes, Carnival celebrations aren’t appropriate for children of families. Tschäggättä managed to have something for everyone and still be tons of fun. The atmosphere was playful, cheery and festive. Everyone from young to old made merry in a ridiculously beautiful setting.
- Lucerne’s Carnival Of Nightmares | HottestNewsFeed.com (rowdypat.wordpress.com)
- Tschäggättä. Tschwhata? A Swiss Valley’s Unique Carnival Celebration (schwingeninswitzerland.wordpress.com)