Interesting facts 

Traditions for the Future

Folklore, Custom and Tradition are the visual and acoustic signs of a kind of brief language. They give orientation in a uniform world. They are committed to the here and now, even if they seem to originate in the past. Many traditions in the Valais stem from a rustic-catholic symbol system. Nevertheless they still exist in a multicultural sphere and meet the needs of today's society. 


Custom survive only if used. Every tradition is therefore forced to innovate. Take the costume as an example: it is today a symbol of local uniqueness originating in the European fashion during the Ancien Régime and went down the centuries through many form and significance changes. Consider the religious custom: partly through the radical changes in the society it has almost disappeared. Where it survives, it now plays a new role as a cultural good. In many Valais villages the Corpus Christi processions are the highlights of the local celebrations.

The costume is considered timeless. Nevertheless it is subject to innovation and changes throughout the ages. In the Lötschental the costume recently became a sheer religious dress. As such it is worn even by the younger women. Domenica Volken-Ritler from Kippel, is taking part three times a year in the processions in her feast costume: “The costume is beautiful, it looks good on me and is pricy. I wear and show it with pride and pleasure. But I wear it only for religious events and would not like to be part of a folkloristic parade.”
Irene Henzen-Murmann, born in Blatten (Lötschen) in 1922, was educated in a different understanding of the costume. In her time the costume was the only woman dress in the Lötschental. In 1946 she wanted to have a new dress tailored on the old pattern and was met with disapproval: “I was the first one in Blatten to wear a one piece costume (Chleid) again, everyone else wore a two piece suit (Schurz and Tschoop). The ‘Chleid’ had vanished and I needed a lot of courage to wear it again.” Here the costume is not a fancy dress but an everyday wear following the changes in the prevailing taste.