Scheibenschlagen (Disc beating)


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

Scheibenschlagen takes place on the first Sunday of Lent and sees boys and young men hurling burning wooden discs from elevated land down into a valley. As soon as darkness sets in, the young men of Untervaz make their way to the various designated sites above the village. Each of them carries a flaming torch, a long hazel rod and wooden discs made out of beechwood. The discs have been cut out, dried and threaded onto a cord in the period following New Year. Having reached the site, the men put the discs onto the rods one by one, light them in the fire and then swing them along the wooden starting ramp, hurling them down into the valley below. The launch of each disc is accompanied by a loud shout from the launcher, dedicating the disc to a girl or unmarried woman. On the village square below, a band plays music for the assembled community, which sings the Scheibenschlagen song. When the last disc flies into the valley, the boys and men make their way back home with their burning torches. In the village they visit the girls and women to whom their discs were dedicated and enjoy savoury carnival tarts.

Image gallery

  • On the way up to the designated sites © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Starting the fire © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Discs being held in the fire until they glow red hot © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • The discs are beginning to burn © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Launching the wooden discs into the valley below © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Wooden discs flying into the valley © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • On the way up to the designated sites © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Starting the fire © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Discs being held in the fire until they glow red hot © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • The discs are beginning to burn © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Launching the wooden discs into the valley below © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006
  • Wooden discs flying into the valley © Nicola Pitaro, 5. März 2006

Video

Christian Ludwig and Thomas Röthlisberger: disc beating, Untervaz 2006 (excerpt) © Christian Ludwig, Thomas Röthlisberger/cl-video

References and documentation

Publications
  • Hans Peter Berger: Scheibenschlagen in Graubünden. In: Bündner Jahrbuch 34. Chur, 1992, p. 126-133

  • Gian Caduff: Das Scheibenschlagen. In: Beilage zur Neuen Bündner Zeitung, 28. März 1930

  • Walter Heim: Volksbrauch im Kirchenjahr heute (Schriften der Schweizerischen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde Band 67). Basel, 1983

  • Lorenz Krättli: «Schibaschlaha», ein uralter Brauch im Wandel der Zeit. In: Bündner Kalender 150. Chur, 1991, p. 93-96

  • Johann Baptist Masüger: Leibesübungen in Graubünden einst und heute. Chur, 1946

  • Scheibenschlagen. In: Atlas der schweizerischen Volkskunde. Basel, 1950-1995

  • Hermann Wellesen: Brennende Scheiben und bettelnde Buben. In: vilan24.ch, 22. Februar 2010

Documentation
  • Scheibenschlagen

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 28.05.2012
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