Invisible winter spirits are chased away with the sound of bells and whip cracks,
children say goodbye to the winter season and welcome springtime
Chalandamarz is the biggest children’s festival in the Engadine and some other valleys (Val Monastero, Val Bregaglia, Oberhalbstein).
In the morning, the boys walk through the village with bells (sometimes in combination with other instruments), shaking them vigorously so that “the grass becomes lusher” by ringing. During their walk, they collect money and get food, which they consume later on together. Until the evening they dance and celebrate and welcome spring.
Originally, the Chalandamarz celebrated the turn of the year. According to the Julian calendar, which was widespread during the Roman Empire, the new year began on 1 March. Today the winter is expelled on this date. The beginning of spring is celebrated with singing, whip cracking, and bell ringing, especially in the Engadine.
Samedan can be proud that despite the constant development and modernization, many customs and traditions are cultivated to this day with much love and commitment of the population, whereby the village youth organized in the Giuventüna da Samedan stands out particularly. The care of the customs and traditions enriches the cultural life of the village and strengthens its own roots. See time table here
The move through the village is enriched in some places by carnival elements or takes the form of an early ascent to the pastures. In many places, children wear blue farm shirts with red handkerchiefs around their necks.
Welcome spring with us and reserve your special weekend with us in March.