The traditional dance “Gäuerlen” (from “is Gäu cho”, which means “to get into a whirl”) is particularly popular in the canton of Schwyz. In this fascinating courtship dance, the male dancer ensnares his partner with a variety of tricks and capers.
The Gäuerler is a courtship dance that is performed in many regions, but it is undoubtedly most popular in the canton of Schwyz. The man shows a charming mixture of mischievousness and ingenuity. He presents himself full of enthusiasm, gets down on his knees, jumps over the nastuch (a cloth lying on the floor) and lets his cheerful “Juuz” shouts come straight from the heart, all in an effort to impress his chosen one.
The name “Gäuerlen” is derived from the French term “Gaillarde”. The folklorist Othmar Betschart describes Gäuerlen as a graceful courtship dance in which the man tries to win the favor of his partner. He first dances with his chosen one and then lets her spin around in front of him. He then skillfully lures her towards him while she dances in front of him and perhaps also gyrates around him. When he gets into the right swing, he courts her with particular zeal and moves around her like a proud rooster.
Gäuerlen is a fascinating tradition that not only has a beautiful cultural significance, but also expresses the skill and charm of the dancers. It is an expression of joy, flirtation and playful competition that delights the hearts of spectators and dancers alike. By preserving and nurturing this ancient custom, the regional culture remains alive and connects people with their past and identity.
The canton of Schwyz – Switzerland’s original canton – is characterized by an above-average number of actively practiced customs and traditions, such as the Muotathaler Naturjuuz.
Note: Learn more about the customs and traditions on our Luxury Tours Switzerland.
Video at the Gäuerlerabig d’Schwyz
Video at the Gäuerlerabig