Maiensässfahrt and Gita a Selva (Trip to the alpine pastures)

Chur schoolchildren have made their annual trip to the “Maiensässen” (May alpine pastures with huts and barns) since 1854. On a sunny day towards the end of May, their teachers lead them out of the town and up to the surrounding pastures where they play in the countryside and enjoy an outdoor barbecue. In the evening the children are welcomed back by the people of the town and they make a procession through the old town with musical accompaniment. Every three years the procession is given a theme and the children dress up accordingly. A speech is held and a traditional song sung, before the children are told that there will be no school the following day.

There is a similar spring tradition in Poschiavo. On a bright Sunday in May, schoolchildren of the Reformed Church and their families walk to the Selva pasture above the village on a church trip which has taken place since the 1840s. They make their way to the chapel on Selva, where a service is held and where everyone sings the Selva song. They then enjoy a feast of polenta made from buckwheat flour and prepared in a large copper pot, before dedicating their afternoon to games and entertainment. At the end of the day the group walks back to the village together.

Detailed description





Chur school: The May pastures song © Stadtschule Chur


Domenic Cantieni: Churer Maiensässfahrt 1854-2004. In: Bündner Jahrbuch 46. Chur, 2004, p. 67-71

Heinrich Jecklin: Churer Maiensässfahrten. Chur, 1984

Antonio Lardelli: Almanacco del Grigioni Italiano - Ricordi: la gita a Selva negli anni '20 Pro Grigioni Italiano 1997, p 104-

Martin Schmid: Stiller Berg, viellieber Wald. In: Historische Aufsätze. Chur, 1969

Riccardo Tognina: Puschlaver Volksbräuche und Dorffeste. In: Terra Grischuna Nummer 5. Chur, 1965

Riccardo Tognina: Gita a Selva di Poschiavo. In: Das Jahr der Schweiz in Fest und Brauch. Zürich, 1981, p. 179-181




Stadtschule Chur

Evangelisch-reformierte Kirchgemeinde Poschiavo

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