Chalandamarz


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

"Chalandamarz" is a Romansh word for the first day of the month of March, when the bells ring out winter and welcome the approach of spring. The custom, portrayed in the famous children's book "Schellenursli" ("A Bell for Ursli") by Selina Chönz and Alois Carigiet, is respected in Engadin, Münstertal, Bergell, Puschlav, Misox, Oberhalbstein and Albulatal, but the celebrations differ from village to village. Schoolchildren dressed in peasant smocks, pointed caps and traditional dress parade around the fountain early in the morning with bells and whips. They walk from house to house and sing Chalandamarz songs, collecting food and money for the communal feast and the school trip. In keeping with tradition, the procession in some villages comprises only boys (for example in Zuoz and Samedan). In Zuoz they practice cracking whips from 1 February, and the procession is rehearsed two Sundays before the big day. On Chalandamarz the boys parade through the village with bells as "herdsmen" and "cows", and the girls prepare the evening meal and the ball that follows. In Scuol the procession is complemented by a whip cracking competition. The Chalandamarz procession in Ftan resembles a carnival procession. The boys dress up and torment the girls with inflated pigs' bladders. In Poschiavo and Misox, a snowman is burned as a symbol of winter.

Image gallery

  • Chalandamarz in Unterengadin © Peter Donatsch/Grischun vacanzas
  • In Scuol © Andrea Badrutt, Chur/ Engadin-Scuol Tourismus
  • Whip cracking in Scuol © Peter Donatsch/Graubünden Ferien
  • In Guarda © Andrea Badrutt, Chur/ Engadin-Scuol Tourismus
  • In Guarda © Nicolo Bass, Engadiner Post
  • In Celerina © Reto Stifel, Engadiner Post
  • Chalandamarz in Samedan © Duri Zisler, Samedan, 2007
  • In Ftan © Schule Ftan, 2004
  • A beating with pigs’ bladders in Ftan © Martina Fontana, Ftan
  • Ftan: The goatskin hat (left), called the “bulavitra” © Schule Ftan, 2005
  • Pupocc da marz: The Icelandic volcano provides the theme © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • Pupocc da marz: The theme here is the new school uniform (pelerine) © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • Pupocc da marz: Winter being burned © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • In Zuoz © Martina Shuler
  • In Zuoz © Martina Shuler
  • Chalandamarz in Guarda (Guarda, 28.2.2017) © Scoula Scuol
  • Parade around the fountain of the village (Guarda, 1.3.2017) © Scoula Scuol
  • Chalandamarz-song from Otto Barblan © Kantonsbibliothek Graubünden
  • Chalandamarz in Unterengadin © Peter Donatsch/Grischun vacanzas
  • In Scuol © Andrea Badrutt, Chur/ Engadin-Scuol Tourismus
  • Whip cracking in Scuol © Peter Donatsch/Graubünden Ferien
  • In Guarda © Andrea Badrutt, Chur/ Engadin-Scuol Tourismus
  • In Guarda © Nicolo Bass, Engadiner Post
  • In Celerina © Reto Stifel, Engadiner Post
  • Chalandamarz in Samedan © Duri Zisler, Samedan, 2007
  • In Ftan © Schule Ftan, 2004
  • A beating with pigs’ bladders in Ftan © Martina Fontana, Ftan
  • Ftan: The goatskin hat (left), called the “bulavitra” © Schule Ftan, 2005
  • Pupocc da marz: The Icelandic volcano provides the theme © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • Pupocc da marz: The theme here is the new school uniform (pelerine) © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • Pupocc da marz: Winter being burned © Nadia Garbellini, Poschiavo 2011
  • In Zuoz © Martina Shuler
  • In Zuoz © Martina Shuler
  • Chalandamarz in Guarda (Guarda, 28.2.2017) © Scoula Scuol
  • Parade around the fountain of the village (Guarda, 1.3.2017) © Scoula Scuol
  • Chalandamarz-song from Otto Barblan © Kantonsbibliothek Graubünden

Video

Chalandamarz in Graubünden © RTR, 1.3.2001

Chalandamarz in Ftan © RTR, 3.3.2007

Chalandamarz in Guarda © RTR, 1.3.1995

References and documentation

Publications
  • Albert Bärtsch: Schweizer Feste und Bräuche. Wädenswil, 2009

  • Werner Catrina: Ein Frühlingsfest im Tiefschnee. In: Feste im Alpenraum. Zürich, 1997

  • Chalandamarz. In: Dicziunari Rumantsch Grischun. Ed. Società retorumantscha. Chur, 1939-

  • Gion Gaudenz: Chalandamarz in Engiadin'Ota. In: Das Jahr der Schweiz in Fest und Brauch. Zürich, 1981

  • Fadrina Hofmann: Der Chalandamarz-Held ist männlich und Peitschenknaller. In: Südostschweiz, 2.3.2010

  • Riccardo Tognina: Puschlaver Volksbräuche und Dorffeste. In: Terra Grischuna no. 5, 1965

  • Riccardo Tognina: Volksleben und Volksbräuche im Puschlav. In: Terra Grischuna no. 6, 1979

  • Cla Schur: Chalandamarz in Ftan, anders als Schellenursli. In: Bündner Woche, 27.2.2013

  • Coro della Radiotelevisone della Svizzera italiana: Chalandamarz, chaland'avrigl. In: Schweizer Chormusik, Volume 2 (Compact Disc). Zürich (Musikverlag Pan), 1994

  • Radiotelevisiun Svizra Rumantscha: Chalandamarz. In: Der klingende Jahreskreis (Compact Disc). Ed. Brigitte Bachmann-Geiser. Oberhofen am Thunersee (Zytglogge-Verlag), 2013

Documentation
  • Chalandamarz

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