Embrace the new year and drive away evil spirits

This is how we welcome the new year 2024 and drive away evil spirits!

Various customs are practiced around the world before the turn of the year. These include pre-Christmas customs, but also customs at the turn of the year. There is something fascinating and mysterious about customs. If you take part in them as a child, this fascination lasts a lifetime. After all, they are unique experiences that shape you and also create a bond with the community in which you live.

There are countless – sometimes curious – New Year’s Eve traditions, especially at the turn of the year. In Wald, Switzerland, where CREALET is based, New Year’s Eve is traditionally celebrated with a visit from the Silvesterchläuse and Schnappesel.

It is thought that the New Year’s Eve chlausen originated from the pagan custom of giving presents. In the past, however, this did not take place at Christmas but at the turn of the year and gradually developed into today’s Silvesterchlausen.

Early on New Year’s Eve morning, 7 pairs of Chlaus begin to carry their New Year’s wishes to all the houses in the outlying wards of the municipality of Wald. In the afternoon, they can be found in the village, where they go from house to house to deliver their New Year’s wishes, as they have done for centuries.

In the evening, they gather together and parade to the final dance. This spectacle in the middle of the unlit village attracts hundreds of spectators from near and far every year. It is a traditional way to start their New Year’s Eve.

The Silvesterchläuse have nothing in common with today’s St Nicholas and his companions. They wear a splendidly decorated doublet, white stockings, and a bright hat.

St Nicholas wears a hoop to which bells are attached. Bouncing and twisting movements create a melodic ringing sound. This bell hoop weighs up to 40kg. Carrying it from morning to night is hard work. With his bells, the Chlaus is supposed to attract good luck for the New Year, while the Schnappesel drives away the evil of the old year with his clattering and wild dancing.

Video by MaskenARTen