A World Apart.

Customs and Traditions

Kindergarten class at the Chalandamarz procession in St. Moritz
Graubünden is rich in traditions. Customs that are still practised and celebrated to this day have developed in the 150 valleys and three language regions over centuries. We introduce you to the most important customs.


Schlitteda is a winter custom in the Upper Engadin. In the past, sledges and horses were the only means of transport in the Engadin. At the Schlitteda, bachelors invite their sweethearts on a romantic sleigh ride. In the past, married people were not allowed to participate in the custom. Today, it has transformed into a village festival enjoyed by single and married people alike.

Hom Strom, Scuol

Hom Strom means "straw man" and is a custom from Scuol. On the first Saturday in February, schoolchildren in Scuol meet on the "Plaz" (village square) to make the Hom Strom. They twist self-harvested rye straw into strands up to nine metres high and as thick as an arm. In the evening, the village gathers in Gurlaina to watch the spectacle: boys throw fireballs at the Hom Strom, setting it on fire. Meanwhile, everyone sings the Hom Strom song. From the flames of the Hom Strom, you can tell how the next harvest will turn out.

Pschuuri, Splügen

"Pschuuri" means "blackening" and is part of the carnival custom in Splügen. On the morning of Ash Wednesday, costumed children go from house to house chanting "Pschuuri, Pschuuri Mittwuchä, äs Eischi oder äs Meitschi", asking for gifts such as sweets. In the afternoon, children, girls and single women try to hide, but the "Pschuurirolli" (older boys) catch them and then "pschuuren" (blacken) their faces. In the evening, the girls and locals are invited to a party.

Trer Schibettas

The once widespread custom is still celebrated today in Danis/Tavanasa, Dardin and Untervaz. During Trer Schibettas ("disc smashing"), boys climb high above the villages, where they make self-carved wooden discs glow in the fire and then hurl them down into the valley. Each disc is accompanied by a loud call with a dedication to a girl. The boys do this to drive away the winter and woo the girls. 


In the Engadin, in the Val Müstair, in the Val Bregaglia (Calendimarzo), in the Val Poschiavo (Pupocc da marz) and in Val Surses, people uphold an ancient spring tradition which is thought to date back to antiquity: Chalandamarz. Each year on 1 March, the brightly costumed schoolchildren parade through the villages, drive out the winter demons with the jingling of bells and the cracking of whips and welcome the spring.

Alpine Descents

Alpine descents take place at the end of the alpine summer in various regions of Graubünden, including Brigels, Flimserstein, Monbiel and Prättigau. The cattle are brought back to the village festively decorated. Accompanied by the loud ringing of bells, the animals parade through the village past the onlookers, then a festival is held. 

Sheep Shearing, Savognin

In the Gravas village square in Savognin, the sheep from the surrounding area lose their coats each October. Watch how the sheep are sheared by professionals, experience how wool feels and find out how this unique product is then processed.