Folklore events take place regularly on Mount Rigi in summer and fall. These include folk music evenings, alphorn players’ meetings, traditional costume festivals, “Geisslechlöpfen”, Alpine Blessing and much more. Probably the best-known event is the Rigi-Schwinget, which is important throughout Switzerland.
Note: The excursion to Mount Rigi is part of our Luxury Tours Switzerland.
Folklore events on the Rigi
The Rigi-Schwinget is one of the most famous wrestling festivals in Switzerland and takes place every year in August on Rigi-Staffel. Wrestling is a traditional Swiss sport in which two athletes compete against each other in a ring and try to put the other on their back.
The Rigi Wrestling and Alpine Festival attracts thousands of spectators every year who want to experience the spectacle on the mountain. In addition to the competitions, there is also a supporting program with music and entertainment.
The Rigi Wrestling Festival is an important part of Swiss culture and tradition and is appreciated by many people in the region and beyond.
Video “Schwingen” 🇨🇭 this sport only exists in Switzerland
Top pairing at the RIGI Schwingfest on July 9, 2023: Swiss Wrestling king Joel Wicki against Werner Schlegel. The 26-year-old wrestling king Joel Wicki from Sörenberg in the canton of Lucerne won the 2022 Swiss Wrestling Festival in Pratteln BL.
Rigi Steinstossen (Stone throwing)
Stone throwing (Steinstossen) is a sport in which an athlete throws a heavy stone over a certain distance. It is similar to weightlifting or shot-putting, but the athlete throws a natural stone rather than an artificial object.
Stone throwing has a long tradition in Switzerland and is an important part of the Swiss national sport. It is often performed at local and regional festivals such as wrestling festivals, alpine festivals and other traditional events.
Stone throwing in Switzerland is closely linked to the history of the Alpine region and reflects the importance of hard physical labor in agriculture and in the mountains. It required not only physical strength, but also skill and technical know-how to move heavy objects such as stones and tree trunks.
Today, stone throwing remains a popular sport in Switzerland and is practiced in many regional and national competitions. There are also Swiss championships and even world championships in stone throwing.
It is not possible to say exactly when these festivals have taken place on Mount Rigi. However, the first documented record is from 1601, when the Sennegesellschaft Arth paid out 8.9 guilders for wrestling, stone throwing, running and jumping.
At the Rigi Wrestling and Alpine Festival, the 50 kg stone is used to launch from the stand so that there are no discussions about the run-up lane. The qualification takes place at 1.00 pm. The best six stone throwers then compete in the final after the fifth round on the wrestling ground.
Video Rigi Steinstossen
Experience the old Swiss tradition of stone throwing…
Rigi Nostalgia Alpine Parade
The alpine parade is an important tradition at the Rigi Wrestling and Alpine Festival and is a highlight of the event.
The Alpine parade symbolizes the traditional route of the Alpine dairies in spring, when the cows are brought from the valleys to the Alps. During the alpine procession, the wranglers wear their typical costumes and often carry a cowbell with them. The procession is accompanied by alphorn players playing traditional alpine music.
The alpine parade has an important symbolic meaning and is intended to emphasize the values of tradition and connection with nature. It is also an opportunity for the wrestlers to demonstrate their strength and stamina, as they often have to carry heavy alpine costumes and other objects.
Each time after the fourth round, cattle and alpine equipment are presented in a 10-minute parade on and next to the wrestling ground as part of the traditional alpine parade.
Video Nostalgia Alpine Parade on the Rigi
Alpine procession on Mount Rigi is an important part of Swiss culture and tradition…
Rigi Alphorn Meeting
Every year, alphorn players from all over make a pilgrimage to the Rigi Staffelhöhe for this impressive event. On this day, the alphorn and the flag-waving banner are valid as a free ticket on the Rigi Railway lines.
Video alphorn meeting Rigi 2018
Let the sounds of the alphorn inspire you…
Rigi Prayer call or Alpine blessing
The Prayer call or Alpine blessing has been practised for 500 years, particularly in the Alps of Central Switzerland. This is an old Alpine prayer that is still recited every evening after work in the Catholic Alpine regions during the summer. With the prayer call, the Alpine herdsman asks for protection from possible natural hazards. He shouts his chant through a “volle”, a wooden or tin milk funnel.
Video Rigi Prayer call
Let the prayer call inspire you…
Geisslechlöpfen at the Rigi Schwinget
After the alpine parade and the alphorn blowing in the afternoon of the Rigi-Schwingfest, the Geisslechlöpfen traditionally takes place.
The whip cracker holds the stick firmly with both hands and swings the attached flagellum forward with a jerky movement. The tip reaches a speed that exceeds the sound and a loud bang pierces the air.
This custom is practiced during the Rigi-Schwingfest, which takes place every year. The Geisslechlöpfen is a fascinating spectacle that impresses spectators with its acoustic effect and adds to the festive atmosphere of the event. It is an important part of regional traditions and attracts both locals and visitors.