In the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland, it is customary to ring in the New Year on January 13, as well as at the end of the year. Traditionally the ‘Silvesterchläuse’ (New Year’s Eve Clauses) go from door to door giving out greetings.
January 13 is New Year according to the Gregorian calendar.
It is not really known how the ancient custom started in the Appenzell Hinterland because there are so few written sources.
According to Appenzellerland Tourismexternal link, there are three types of Clause: the ‘ugly’ ones, the ‘beautiful’ ones and the ‘woodland and nature’ ones.
Ringing their bells and yodeling, the Clause wish everyone happiness and prosperity for the New Year and receive Glühwein mulled wine and money in return.
Last year the Clauses made an exceptional visit to Zurich, featuring in an exhibition of national customs from Switzerland and Austria.