The town of Wald has its unique custom at the end of the year called 'Silvesterchläuse' (people in masks) who are supposed to attract good luck while the so-called 'Schnappesel' (a person in the disguise of a donkey) drive away the evil spirits of the past year.
It is assumed that the Silvesterchläuse originated from the pagan custom of giving presents. In the past, one did not give presents at Christmas but at the turn of the year. The tradition of today's Silvesterchläuse originated from this.
The Silvesterchlaus in Wald is accompanied by the donkey (Schnappesel). With the sound of bells and a rhythmic dance, the Silvesterchlaus shall attract good luck for the new year, while the clattering and wild running around of the Schnappesel is supposed to drive away the old year's evil.
Early on New Year's Eve morning, at around 6:30 a.m., the Silvesterchlaus and the donkey begin to carry their good wishes for the new year into all the houses in the outer districts of Wald.
From 1 p.m. they are in the village where they go from door to door - as has been the custom for decades - wishing everyone a happy New Year.
In the evening, at 6:30 p.m., they gather at the railway station for their parade and final dance. This spectacle in the middle of the unlit village attracts hundreds of spectators from near and far every year and has become a traditional way to start celebrating New Year's Eve.
On New Year's Day, Silvesterchlaus and the Schnappesel start visiting old people's and nursing homes of the area and the high-altitude clinic of Wald to present their New Year's wishes.
All events at a glance