Herdsmen's Ball

Even 200 years ago, unmarried herdsmen would invite their lady friends to a dance in the middle of the alpine summer. Of all the events connected with alpine traditions, the Herdsmen’s Ball is the most solemn. It is held once a year in one of the local inns. It opens with a ceremonial procession, led by two herdsmen swinging cowbells. The couples follow, with the herdsmen yodelling and their partners wearing traditional dress.

Appenzell string bands, still in the traditional formation, perform the old folk dances of the “Mölirad” (mill wheel), a men’s dance, and the “Hierig”, a dance about love that covers courtship, quarrels and reconciliation.

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