Monday, March 26, 2012


So a couple weeks ago we drove way too far away for a pretty mediocre walk.  Not that it was bad, it just was not cool enough to merit how far we drove.

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So we saw some neat things, like this water… something.


And these coats of arms of the Swiss cantons:

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Like these from wiki:



But the coolest thing was the decor on this house:


Did you see them?  The masks?  Mask 1:


And Mask 2:


It was so awesome because I read about these masks on a really neat blog of an American lady named Beth who also lives in Switzerland, and have been waiting and waiting to see one so I could take a picture and tell you about it.  Here is what she said (this is so cool!):

It is a traditional hand-carved Carnival mask.  In the Valais region of Switzerland, between Candlemas and Ash Wednesday, men put on hand-carved masks, some of which have real teeth in them, and are fringed with hair, and become Tschäggättä.  They pad their shoulders, don huge wigs and clothes made of the fur of chamois, fox, or sheep, hold a staff, and tie a cow bell around their waists with a broad belt.  They run through the village chasing those brave enough to go out after dusk!  I would love to know the origins of this ancient celebration.  I found a fascinating video of the event, which I have posted below.  I got it from a website about the celebration in Loëtschenttal, and it features an interview with a mask-carver.  The video is in German, I'm afraid, but the imagery of monsters chasing laughing children through the ancient village streets is unforgettable!

Watch this incredibly cool video! (And make it big for full effect.)

I wish I could figure out when and where this happened so I could go!  Switzerland is pretty awesome.


Missy said...

They do this in our village too! Bu instead of a beast, they become old witches. And wear dresses. But for some reason some of the masks have mustaches. It's part of the Fasching celebration on Fat Tuesday, but ours come out around noon and dance for about an hour.

I love these random celebrations!

Megan said...

Good to see pictures of your kids - we need to set a time to skype again - that was fun. So did you make some of your hard decisions?? I'll make them for you - move back to UT and look for a job while you are living with me. There you go. Love you .


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