An ancient tradition led by children to say goodbye to winter
On March 1 of every year, the children of the Val Müstair schools walk through the streets of the town in a joyful parade in which the traditional songs, the ringing of the cowbells, and the children's ball can not be missed.
The Romansh Chalandamarz tradition begins with the children singing songs about the animals of the region and the changing seasonal landscapes, but if you pay attention you will recognize some characters from the parade. Leading the group is the "cowherd", who is represented by the oldest boy in the villages' schools and is in charge of stopping and going when necessary to keep the group together; there are also the "herderer", who with their blue farmer's suit and a whip in hand is in charge of driving the herd correctly. The rest of the children represent the "cows", they are dressed in blue with red hats adorned with colorful flowers and go over the streets ringing cowbells.
Chalandamarz is a Romansh word that means "the first day of March" and dates back to the 1st century AD, when the province of Raethia was ruled by the Romans, whose calendar begins on this date. This celebration takes place throughout the Engandin region and extends to a few other valleys. Despite the fact that traditions may vary from one town to another in terms of characters, song lyrics, or celebration decorative elements, this is precisely what demonstrates the cultural and natural variety of the region.
Without a doubt, enjoying these events is a very enriching experience for those passionate about cultures and history.
Go ahead and plan a trip to witness this colorful party!