“Pschuure”, which means “to blacken”, is an important part of carnival celebrations in Splügen, Rheinwald. On the morning of Ash Wednesday, primary school children dress up and walk from door to door in groups, carrying baskets and reciting a rhyme. They ask for gifts, which they receive in the form of sweets. In the afternoon, older boys don shabby garments and wrap themselves in animal pelts before stealing through the village streets. The bells they wear around their waists make a lot of noise and they carry the dreaded greasy mixture of coal and fat in a sack. Their aim is to catch children, girls and unmarried women, who at first try to hide, and paint their faces with their black slime. All victims must be wearing greasy black masks by dusk. In the evening, pairs of boys disguised as “Männli” (men) and “Wibli” (women) make their way through the villages with a basket, begging for eggs and inviting the black-faced girls to an evening meal. Egg salad and “Resimäda” (a traditional drink) are prepared in a hotel kitchen, and the feast begins after midnight. Everyone is invited to the party, which takes place in an old barn.
Erika Börlin-Hössli: Walserbräuche im Rheinwald? In: Terra Grischuna no. 6, vol. 38. Chur, 1979, p. 365-366
David Coulin: Die Pschuurirolli kommen! In: Leben und Glauben / Sonntag no. 8. Baden, 2011
Richard Hänzi: Dr Splügner Pschuuri. Fasnachtsbrauch einer Walsergemeinschaft im Rheinwald. In: Bündner Monatsblatt no. 7/8. Chur, 1987, p. 213-244
Richard Hänzi: Dr Splügner Pschuuri. Fasnachtsbrauch einer Walsergemeinschaft. Ed. Kulturvereinigung Rheinwald. Splügen, 1994
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