Paving the way for St. Nicholas
Before Santigläis (St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus) can pay a visit to the children of Fiesch and Fieschertal, the "Trichjer" swing into action.
In keeping with the ancient tradition, the "Trichjer" – boys and young men – gather on 5 December in order to drive the evil spirits out of the village with their "Trichjen" (cow bells) before Santigläis arrives. The school children meet in the station square in the afternoon and march through the village three times. The shops thank the eager young Trichjer with nuts, Lebkuchen (gingerbread) and Grittibänsa (sweet dough men).
When evening comes in Fiesch, the night Trichjer take over from the young Trichjer: young men who have reached their 18th birthday form a 100-strong procession. The men, clad in black shoes, black trousers, a white shirt, black tie and a gold bishop's mitre have a bright polished "Trichja" as a belt. Following the pace set by the officer and captains at the head of the procession, they march through the village in an orderly fashion twice. The impressive culmination of the Santigläistrichje is a parade, honours, the "Straftrichjen" punishment for those who have failed to keep in line and the entry of Santigläis into Fiesch village square.
Afternoon: young Trichjer march through Fiesch
From 18.30 h: Night Trichjer procession through Fiesch
From 21 h: Parade on Fiesch village square