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  • Once a year, on the eve of Dec. 6, St. Nicholas Day, the town of Küsnacht-am-Rigi, a medieval picturesque village outside of Lucerne puts on a “Klausenjagt”; litteral translation “St. Nicholas Chase”.

    This is a unique procession dating back to pre-Christian pagan times attended each year by about 20,000 people, consists of a parade of around 1,500 participants, and lasts far into the night.
    The procession is organised in six stages.

    • First come men cracking long two-handed sheep whips.
    • Next come men wearing Iffelen or Infuln, which are enormous, incredibly ornate paper hats which resemble a cross between a bishop’s mitre and a stained glass window, lit from the inside by candles, and as much as seven feet tall.
    • Behind them is St. Nicholas himself, with four attendants in black robes and hoods known as Schmutzlis, who hand out pastries.
    • After them comes a brass band playing the traditional Klaus song, followed by a large group ringing trycheln, large bells which are descendants of cow bells.
    • Lastly, the entire procession is followed by men blowing cow horns. Participants and watchers then generally head on to celebrations in local taverns.
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      What does this all have to do with ECHO Trails?
      You see the medieval village on a number of our Day tours.

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