In the afternoon of the first Saturday in January, the older children from Scuol meet on the square in the lower part of the town to build a ‘Hom Strom’ (straw man). They place an old telephone pole, some eight-metres long, on two trestles. They braid rye straw that is specially cultivated for this purpose and harvested by hand in autumn to fashion two long thick strands. These are attached to both ends of the pole and wound tightly around the pole until the roll has a diameter of about two metres. The Hom Strom is transported by truck to a meadow outside the village, where members of the school and the local council use ladders to stand the Hom Strom up and place it in a prepared hole. People must then stand guard over the Hom Strom so that boys from the neighbouring village don’t set it on fire ahead of time.
In the evening, the population of Scuol gathers with other guests in the field near the Hom Strom, while the oldest students light up the area with their ‘Bombas’ (fireballs), made of petrol-soaked rags. At 8 pm sharp, the straw man is set on fire, and everyone sings the Hom Strom song, which local poet Men Rauch composed for the event in 1954.