Zermatt: Beauty contest for black-nosed sheep
Zermatt’s summer pastures would simply not be the same without black-nosed sheep around. Every year at the beginning of September, the finest black-nosed sheep is chosen at the Shepherd Festival in Schweigmatten/Furi above Zermatt. This is the first time the event is to be accompanied by musical entertainment. Date: 7 / 8 September 2013
With their black faces, black hooves and fluffy white wool, black-nosed sheep appear very cuddly! However, at the annual beauty contest, their cuddliness is not their main asset. The sheep, which by the way are exclusively female, are assessed according to type, grace of movement and wool quality. Hence all the sprucing up, combing and coiffing that goes on in the build-up to the show.
Presentation on Saturday – award ceremony on Sunday
On Saturday, 7 September 2013 starting at 1.30 p.m., around 120 black-nosed sheep will be paraded before the judges’ panel in Schweigmatten/Furi. The show is open to the public. Spectators gain an insight into the criteria the experts use in their assessment of the fluffy balls of wool. The award ceremony for the winning sheep chosen on Saturday will take place on Sunday, 8 September 2013 at the Shepherd Festival. The lucky shepherd will be presented with a sheep bell.
Social gathering – now with musical accompaniment
An all-time first, this year’s Shepherd Festival is to be accompanied by traditional folk music. There will be a yodel group and a three-piece ‘Ländler’ band to provide the musical entertainment. Like every year, the Festival will begin with a mass being said in Schweigmatten/Furi. At the festivities following mass, there will be raclette and lamb dishes served. Naturally, it being his birthday, Wolli the children’s mascot will also be attending.
Locals and visitors are all very welcome
Over the last few years, the Shepherd Festival has become very popular among the families of Zermatt. For locals as well as guests, it is a great opportunity to experience the village and its long-standing traditions up close. All festival-goers should remember to bring sun cream, sun glasses, sun hats and cameras.
How to get there
By foot: Sign-posted hiking trail from Winkelmatten up to Schweigmatten. (approx. 45 minutes)
By train: Matterhorn Express gondola from Zermatt to Furi. From Furi, there is a paved road leading down to Schweigmatten (approx. 10 minutes by foot)
11.30 a.m.: Mass in Schweigmatten/Furi
From 12.30 p.m: Festivities with food and beverages
From 3.00 p.m.: Award ceremony for the finest black-nosed sheep
Sometime during the afternoon: Performance by Wolli