Stories

Klausjagen St. Nicolas procession

by Thomas Buechler - 3 months ago

The Klausjagen is a procession in honor of St. Nicolas and takes place every year on the 5th of December at Swiss time exact 2015h. All the street and shop lights are extinguished and the socalled Geislechloepfer start to crack their whips, and there one has to be extremely careful not to be hit. The main attraction however are the illuminated Iffele headdresses. They are made out of carton and vary in shape and size, but could be copies from precious stained glass windows in churches. This year an incredible 265 Iffele participated in the procession. During the year they are carefully repaired and taken care of, for next year again, same day, same time since 1928. The tradition goes back to the middle ages when bad spirits were driven away by noise made from cowbells and cows' horns. As of now, those horns are also part of the procession and appear as grande finale at the end.All in all 1658 men participated in this years procession, and there was a lively discussion in 2015 if for the first time women should be allowed to join the St. Niklausen association. 720 to 20 against it. This guarantees that the Chasing of Nicolas procession in Küssnacht, on the lake of Lucerne,  will remain an exclusively male domain, and the ladies will just be among the thousands of visitors and in the lively bars drinking Glühwein.



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