Jan 02, 2024
Free admission

This January, experience the ancient traditions of Interlaken by watching the spirits of the Harder Kulm mountains descend as part of Harder-Potschete.

An ancient affair

The Harder-Potschete event is an ancient Swiss tradition from the Swiss mountains that survives to this day. During the event, the deafening sounds of heavy bells and drums of the Trychler can be heard from significant distances away. Spirits haunt the city carrying sticks and wearing spooky handmade masks, with dense throngs of eager spectators relishing in the thrill of the dread.

The Hardermannli

The main character of Harder-Potschete is the Hardermannli, who is the main spirit of the Harder Kulm mountains. On January 2 of each year, he descends onto the people of the valley with his wife, Wyb, and his followers, the Potschen.

With the terrifying masks and commotion of the Hardermannli, Wyb, and the Potschen, the aim of the noisy procession is to drive away evil winter spirits. The retreat of the Hardermannli, Wyb, and the Potschen signifies the victory of light over the darkness of the night.

Celebrations in Interlaken

After the retreat of the evil spirits, the Hardernmannli, Wyb, and the Potschen remove their masks and join the masses in the bars and restaurants of Interlaken for a lovely get-together. This ancient tradition has been practised in this way for the past 50 years.

Attending Harder-Potschete

Interested in witnessing this incredible celebration in the Swiss city of Interlaken? Head over to the official Interlaken tourism website for more information about the tradition of Harder-Potschete and all other events happening in Interlaken.