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Silvesterchlausen is the name of the Saint Sylvester’s Day festivities in Appenzell, Switzerland. A Silvesterklaus (or Silvesterchlaus in Swiss German) therefore is a masked person taking part in these activities and thus contributing to keep the Chlausen tradition alive.

A Silvesterklaus or New Year’s Mummer is dressed up as a Saint Sylvester or New Year’s Eve character. In the reformed half-canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, the turn of the year is still celebrated in this way two times – on December 31st and again according to the Julian calendar on January 13th. The Silvesterkläuse put on their amazing costumes and, ringing huge bells and singing a slow yodel, wander in small groups from house to house, to wish the people a happy new year.

Silvesterchlausen, Urnäsch, Switzerland, January 13, 2023
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Oliver Stegmann

Born in 1970 in Basel, Switzerland. Black and White Documentary and Street Photography. Participated in various workshops of well-known photographers such as Mary Ellen… More »

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