Tschäggättä / Carnival
During carnival week, "Tschäggätta" (frightful figures, clad in furs and wearing grotesque masks) liven up village life in the Lötschental. This pagan custom is practised from 3 February onwards in the Lötschental.
Curious? Then experience this living tradition at first-hand on 23th february 2017 at the traditional Tschäggättu-Procession from Blatten to Ferden (Start 08.00 pm Blatten Church) or on 25th february 2017 at the Lötschental Carnival Procession in Wiler.
The remoteness of the Lötschental has given rise to a wealth of tales, legends and myths. Wild figures that raced through Lötschental's history and have left their traces. It is they who were the origins of the Tschäggättä custom that is still celebrated today in a real labour of love. The masked carnival figures typical in the Lötschental, the so-called Tschäggättä, appear in the period between the Catholic holiday of Candlemass and Shrove Tuesday (the day before Ash Wednesday). Every evening after work these wild-looking figures streak through the valley and hunt down and frighten anyone who is still out on the streets.
The Tschäggättä wear old clothes outside-in, with the fur facing outwards; they also carry two sheep or goatskins over their backs and chests held in place around the loins by a leather belt on which a cow bell ("Trichla") usually hangs. Their feet are often clad in sacks that are bound around their legs to enhance the wild appearance of their clothing but also to prevent the wearers of the masks from being identified by their shoes or by their footprints in the snow. The Tschäggättä wear gloves, formerly made of "Triäm" (remnants of wool that remained in the weave). The figures wear over-sized, grotesque and sometimes brightly-painted masks made of pine, the back of which is covered with sheepskin or goatskin. A stick completes the costume.
Follow in the footsteps of the Tschäggättä and create your own Lötschental mask! On request, groups (5 people or more, max. 20 people) can carve their own masks in the carving workshop in Ferden under expert instruction.
Price: CHF 45. - / adult and CHF 40. - / child. Duration about 3 hours
For more information and reservation contact Lötschental Tourism, Tel. +41 (0)27 938 88 88 or email@example.com. Please reserve at least 2 days before the desired date.