Silvesterklausen (Old Silvester Day)

The custom known as Silvesterklausen in the town of Urnäsch, Appenzell Outer Rhoden, Switzerland, is performed both on December 31, New Silvester Day (St. Sylvester’s Day), and on January 13, or Old Silvester Day (reflecting the change from the Julian, or Old Style, calendar to the Gregorian, or New Style, calendar in 1582). The men of the village, wearing masks, costumes, and heavy harnesses with bells, traditionally walk in groups from house to house singing wordless yodels. The friends and neighbors who receive them offer them a drink before they move on to the next house. Discuss


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