Best living traditions in Switzerland – the Valais

Carnival, ©snappybex/Flickr

Carnival, ©snappybex/Flickr

The Valais is a place where locals live in harmony enjoying and practicing old traditions keeping this beautiful region vibrant and alive. If you visit Valais you will find that modernity and mysticism does not exclude each other. Visit the colorful markets and Alpine ascents, attend a fascinating bloodless cow fight and be part of the Tschäggättä happening in Lötschen valley, a ghostly and mysterious carnival organized by the locals. Learn more about the oldest Swiss traditions by visiting Valais, Switzerland. Experience religious festivals and attend the Valasian carnival.

Let the best cow win!

Right after winter season is up and the flowers start blooming the cows are cut loose and the fighting begins. In Valais there is this unusual tradition when people put cows to face different kinds of challenges. Cow fighting is a unique and special tradition in Valais which goes hand in hand with joyful festivals.

Cow fighting, ©Polybiotique/Flickr

Cow fighting, ©Polybiotique/Flickr

Regional contests start at the end of March and at the end of each competition the best cow gets to be crowned as the queen. There are other contests held starting in the middle of June going on during the whole summer season in the alpine regions and other competitions in the fall after which the cows can return to their homes.

Religious festivals

Like any other country Switzerland also has its religious festivals and celebrations. Valais has its own way of celebrating. One of the most important events is the Corpus Christi procession which involves people traveling over hills and dales in order to participate in it. They dress up in old Valasian uniforms and put up the costumes of mercenaries.

Valais fair, ©Olivier Bruchez/Flickr

Valais fair, ©Olivier Bruchez/Flickr

There is a traditional processional march during which the grenadiers, the priest and all the locals process through the town. You can see such processions in the towns of Tröbel. St-Martin, Vispertrminen, St.Niklaus, Bürchen or Saviése.

The Valaisan carnival

In the Valais region all towns large and small take seriously the festival season. Who would not love a joyful time and celebration together with friends, family and the whole town? There are very few souls in the Valais who does not like taking part in the colorful parades and carnivals. All the streets come to life and start buzzing as the traditional sounds start ringing.

Carnival, ©snappybex/Flickr

Carnival, ©snappybex/Flickr

The children dress up in different costumes and participate in contests where the best masks get prizes. The bars and restaurants are crowded with blissful characters going on celebrating until sunrise. You will find the most enthusiastic carnivals and events in upper Valais or Monthey.

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