During New Year celebrations, cow bell players make their way through the village with their traditional bells, playing out the old year and playing in the new. This begins at around 6pm (either in Schmmocken or Waldegg). They march through the whole village, going from restaurant to restaurant and from hotel to hotel. Everywhere they stop, people toast the new year - or “prost!” as we say in Swiss German. Arriving at the last restaurant at precisely midnight, they ring in the new year and start a round of toasting. The interesting thing about this tradition is that only a young, unmarried man can be a cow bell player, or ‘Trychler’.
Meaning the ‘2nd of January Stroll’ - this tradition is pretty self-explanatory. The music society travels through the village, traditionally playing in guest houses and toasting the new year. This January stroll is the first musical highlight of the year.
The 1st of August is Switzerland’s national holiday. Almost every village in Switzerland celebrates this day by remembering the Rütlischwur oath taken in 1891, and traditional speeches, celebration, music and a lantern procession for children. In Beatenberg, locals and guests celebrate this national holiday together at a convivial village fete.
Each October, Miss Beatenberg is chosen at the Wydi car park. This isn’t your average pageant were the most beautiful girl from the village is chosen - Miss Beatenberg is a title awarded to the most beautiful cow. The process is much the same: the cows are washed and brushed before being presented to the audience in the ring. The farmer can’t influence the vote that could make their cow this year’s Miss Beatenberg. The cow is chosen by the audience, and wins a cow bell.
The autumn cow show is a highlight for many cow farmers. A cow landing a high ranking depends on a range of different factors, including number of points, milk production, milk content and when the cow has born calves. The autumn cow show is a special experience for locals and guests alike.
During the summer months, Beatenberg Tourismus organises a range of guest nights with various clubs. During these evenings, we present Swiss traditions to guests from all over the world. Prepare for yodelling and traditional dancing, while the sound of the traditional Alpine horn rings through the village for a special atmosphere.
In good weather, festivities will take place outside, on the square in the middle of the village. If there is a risk of bad weather, the guest night takes place in the congress hall. In the small restaurant, guests can try a typical Beatenberg dried sausage or a cheesy ‘Chäs-Brätel’.
The traditional ‘Chästeilet’, or ‘dividing of the cheese’ has been taking place on the Sypcherbeg in the Justistal Valley for over 300 years. During the Alpine summer, Alpine herdsmen make cheese from the milk of over 250 cows. At the end of summer, it’s divided among the farmers in a centuries-old ritual, ‘Chästeilet’. The farmer can take home the proportion of cheese that corresponds with the amount of milk contributed by their cows. Finally, cheesemakers parade into the valley in traditional dress with decorated cows.
The Alpine Horn Meeting on the beautiful Chüematte Alp has become one of the largest meetings of its kind over the last few years. Alongside plenty of Alpine horn players and flag wavers from near and far, traditional groups and yodellers ensure entertainment and a lively atmosphere.
The event begins at 10:30am with a mountain mass service. The restaurant is open from around 10am, and dancing and entertainment begin at 12.
The Chüematte Alp can be reached from Beatenberg/Waldegg by car (permit required), by bike, on foot or by shuttle (charges apply, from 9:30am). The walk from the Niederhorn or Vorsass lasts around 1.5 hours.
Each year, the Beatenberg yodelling club organises the Bode-Chilbi in the area of Schmocken, ‘uf em Bode’ beneath the Vorsass mid station. The celebration begins with a mass service at 10:30am, accompanied by music played by Beatenberg’s village clubs. Food is also provided, while a range of games take place from 1pm.