Easter donation Ferden

A celebration of community and generosity

The fascinating tradition of the Ferden Easter Offering, a unique custom that has shaped the Lötschental community for centuries. This special celebration on Easter Monday recalls an ancient custom that once protected the valley from disaster and today acts as a symbol of generosity and community.

Easter Monday, 21 April 2025

With the Easter donation, Ferden has preserved a "monument to Christian public spirit", a custom that used to be practiced in a similar form throughout the Alpine region. Every year, the milk yield of two days is processed into a special Ziger and distributed to the population of the entire Lötschental on Easter Monday; this, according to a legend from the Middle Ages, is done to break the spell of damage on the Ferden Alps.

Legend has it that the Faldum, Resti and Kummen Alps were haunted after the death of a herdsman who had unlawfully enriched himself. An evil spirit drove the cattle out of the stables and chased them restlessly over mountains and valleys. After three days, the cows returned. They carried ears of grain between their claws and gave bloody milk. The people who shared the alp promised to give two days' worth of milk to the poor of the valley every year. As a result, the restless dairyman ceased his evil activities.

The Spendziger is processed into a fine porridge in the village cellar, this mass is then salted and filled into the hulls, which are made by hand from fir bark every year. All the work up to the distribution of the Spänd, consisting of cheese, bread and, for adults, wine, is the responsibility of specially elected men from Ferden. After the morning mass, the children are the first to line up at the parish hall for the so-called small donation.

This is followed by a burgers' meeting at which only the Easter offering is discussed. In the afternoon, it is the turn of the guests from the other valley communities first, followed by the women from Ferden. The men from Ferden are the last to receive their donation on Tuesday evening. On Easter Monday, the municipal administration in Ferden distributes a piece of cheese with bread and wine to all residents.