Säntis with cow
Print run: 200 (special edition)
Token ID: 11
Nowhere in Switzerland are the traditional processions of livestock up and down the Alps more celebrated than in the canton of Appenzell. For many farming communities, the procession up to the alpine meadows in May or June is the most beautiful day of the year. An alpine herdsman leads the bell cows. The three harmonised bells around the animals’ necks are probably the only instruments in the world that are played by cows. The bell cows are usually followed by four herdsmen. Their job is to sing and yodel. They also ensure that the herd stays together. The cows and other livestock stay up in the alpine meadows for eight to ten weeks. The procession back down from the alpine meadows takes place by 30 September at the latest. It follows the same pattern as on the way up. Unlike in Appenzell Ausserrhoden, where the alpine herdsmen celebrate the downward procession at the foot of the Säntis mountain on a single day, the villagers of Appenzell Innerrhoden spend several afternoons in the late summer ringing bells and yodelling to mark the end of the alpine grazing period.