Trychel Week and Ubersitz

Trychel Week and Ubersitz
EventsTop cultural eventsTrychel Week and Ubersitz
December 25th – 30th, 2019

Rhythmic clamouring wards off evil spirits

At the end of each year Meiringen celebrates an ancient custom: Trychel Week and the Ubersitz. Over a period of five days the villagers use masks, bells and giant Trycheln cow-bells to cast out haunting spirits.
In Meiringen, the traditional Trychel Week begins on the stroke of midnight on December 25. The Celtic ritual lasts until the second-last working day and ends with the Ubersitz. In the pre-Christian era, mountain dwellers were convinced that the dead came to haunt the living on those five long winter nights around the winter solstice. So they sought to keep the dead away from their villages with gruesome masks and cast them out of their valleys into the beyond with a great clamour. In the Haslital, that ritual is still celebrated to this day.

Overwhelmingly beautiful highlight

For five days and nights the inhabitants of the Haslital use drums, bells and giant Trycheln cow-bells to chase the evil spirits away, back to the realm of the dead. They march in rhythmic step through their villages in processions that get larger and noisier every day. The quaint ceremony reaches its overwhelmingly beautiful highlight on December 30 with the Ubersitz. That’s when costume-clad Trychler from Eisenbolgen, Hasliberg, Hausen, Meiringen, Willigen and Unterbach all converge on the centre of Meiringen, bringing Trychel Week to an end in a deafening procession.

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