The best-known and most popular event is the Rigi Wrestling and Alpine Festival, which attracts thousands of enthusiastic spectators to the Queen of the Mountains every year and is also increasingly becoming a tourist magnet. Folklore events also take place regularly on Mount Rigi, especially in summer and fall. In addition to the Rigi Schwing- und Älplerfest, these include folk music evenings, alphorn players’ meetings and traditional costume festivals.
Rigi Wrestling and Alpine Festival with a long tradition
Every year, the wrestlers, alpine herdsmen and dairymen celebrate a traditional festival on the Rigi. The top-class wrestling festival, the fantastic natural backdrop and the colourful supporting programme with alpine parade and stone throwing create a festive atmosphere.
The Rigi-Schwinget is one of the most famous wrestling festivals in Switzerland and takes place every year in July 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.
Every year, the Rigi-Schwinget attracts thousands of spectators who want to witness the spectacle on the mountain. In addition to the competitions, there is also music and entertainment. The Rigi-Schwinget is an important part of Swiss culture and tradition and is appreciated by many people in the region and beyond.
This event is organized every year with the help of countless volunteers and people who support the sport of wrestling.
The specially prepared wrestling arena, the great atmosphere, exciting competitions, the colorful alpine parade and the magnificent view always attract thousands of enthusiastic spectators to the Queen of the Mountains.
Video “Schwingen” 🇨🇭 This sport only exists in Switzerland
Top pairing at the RIGI Schwingfest on July 9, 2023: 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 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 originated in Scotland and was once often performed as part of Highland Games, which are traditional Scottish sporting competitions. The sport requires not only physical strength, but also skill and technique to throw the stone in the desired direction and distance.
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-pushing 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 were held 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 Schwing- und Älplerfest, 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 (Stone Throwing)
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 wielders wear their typical costumes and often carry a cowbell. The procession is accompanied by alphorn players playing traditional alpine music.
The Alpaufzug 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.
After the fourth course, cattle and alpine equipment are presented in a 10-minute parade on and next to the wrestling arena as part of the traditional alpine parade.
Video of the Alpine procession on the Rigi
Alpine procession on Mount Rigi is an important part of Swiss culture and tradition…
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.
“Geisslechlöpfen” is a Swiss German term referring to a traditional Swiss custom involving the cracking of a whip. In English, it can be translated as “whip cracking” or “whip snapping.” This activity is often performed in a celebratory or festive context, and it is a traditional skill that is sometimes demonstrated during events or festivals in Switzerland.
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.
Video Geisslechlöpfen on the Rigi