"COW BELLS" Switzerland Local Custom Tip by balhannah

Switzerland Local Customs: 171 reviews and 207 photos

  Swiss cow bells
by balhannah
  • Swiss cow bells - Switzerland
      Swiss cow bells
    by balhannah
  • Meeting the Swiss local - Switzerland
      Meeting the Swiss local
    by balhannah

Travelling from France and into Switzerland, it wasn't long until I hear the "ding, ding" in the fields.

Ah! I said, Swiss cow bells, Now we know we are in Switzerland!

Of course, everywhere we went, we heard them, and not only on Cows, but on Sheep too!

June, and Summer arrives, the snow has melted and it is time to take the Cows to the Mountain's, time for the Farmer to strap on a Bell. We saw many different sized Bell's, the huge ones like in my photo must be terribly heavy for the Cow to carry around. I must say I felt sorry for the Cow! They do not wear them all year round.
Did you know a bell can cost up to $1000?
And......Did you know .....
That a Farmer may put his Cow's in a Cable Car to move them quickly to the bottom?

This is a tradition dating back to the 14th century.

If you are lucky and here in Switzerland at the "right" time, this is after the snow has melted, you may see the "Alpaufzug", a procession through the village into the high pastures. The cows are decorated with floral wreaths woven through the horns, and the best milk-producing cow in the village leads the procession wearing the largest bell. The bells are made in various sizes, and cows are awarded bells according the milk production of the year.
I think that is what my Bells in the photo were for.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Oct 3, 2011
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