The Chalandamarz owes its fame to the popular Swiss children's book «Schellen-Ursli» by local author Selina Chönz. This custom is celebrated in March. Then, in the mountain regions, especially in the Engadine and Val Müstair, the village youth parades through the streets singing, ringing loud cowbells and cracking whips.

Chalandamarz was originally largely an event for boys. In the meantime, however, girls have also been integrated into the event in most villages. The custom differs from village to village. Besides the sounds of bells, Chalandamarz is filled with the noise of whips cracking.

When the children and teenagers roam through the villages, joyfully ringing their bells, every household gives a tidy sum for the school trip fund. If the boys are lucky, they might get to sit down in Miss Barbla's parlour and eat their fill of «chastognas cun latmilch» – chestnuts with whipped cream. You can bet that after a sweet treat, the sounds of the heavy bells will ring out much more loudly through the streets!

The famous Schellen Ursli book by Selina Chönz and Alois Carigiet


The story of Schellen Ursli is about Uorsin – Romansh for Ursli. Ursli is left with the smallest bell to wear at Chalandamarz, the other village youths mock and tease him for this. But Ursli remembers the big cowbell that hangs in father's mountain hut.

Schlitteda in St.Moritz
Mehr anzeigen

A World Apart.

Further Traditions

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.

Mehr anzeigen