Stained Glass

Klausjagen in Küssnacht am Rigi

Hans Meier

Küssnacht am Rigi, Switzerland


Stained glass

11 x 13 3/4 inches

The most famous Swiss parade is in Küssnacht am Rigi, where a cannon shot signals the start at 8:15 pm. First come men skillfully cracking long sheep whips. Next are the lighted iffelen,—180 young men dancing and swaying as they pass in their lighted headdresses. Surrounded by torchbearers, the bishop St. Nicholas himself comes with his two Schmutzli companions. Trumpeters playing a three tone melody are followed by 700 Klausjager, men in white farmer's shirts swinging huge cow bells from heavy straps. The 700 bells ring as one. The procession ends with 200 men blowing cow horns in a repeated rhythm of two short blows and one long one. The streets resound with all these sounds of horns blowing, brass, whips cracking, and bells clanging. The parade is repeated again in the early hours of morning, finishing up by 7 am.