Chlauschlöpfen from Switzerland

Chlauschlöpfen?!… What is that?!

Well, have a look at the video and after that I will explain what they do during November and December in Lenzburg in Switzerland.

This is a very old tradition. People believed that around winter solstice the realm of the dead would open up and the souls of the dead would come out and haunt the living.

The loud bang of the so called Chlausgeisseln (the whips in the video) would expel the bad winter ghosts and demons.

Nowadays this tradition is “executed” every night between November and the second Thursday of December. On that day the whole thing reaches its peak.

The Samichlaus (the Swiss version of Santa) comes out of his cave. Together with his helpers he rides on a mule into the city of Lenzburg. The well-behaving kids receive nuts, tangerines and gingerbread. The bad ones get beaten with a birch…..

So now you know where not to visit during that time of the year, if you haven’t behaved well.

Do you think this tradition will convince kids to behave well? I find it quite scary – and since I have been to something similar I can just confirm that the sound of these whips is REALLY loud!

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