Old Silvester

Old Silvester

December 31, January 13
The custom known as Silvesterklausen in the small town of Urnäsch in Appenzell Outer Rhoden Canton, Switzerland, is performed both on December 31, New Silvester Day ( St. Sylvester's Day), and on January 13, or Old Silvester Day. (The two dates reflect the change from the Julian, or Old Style, calendar to the Gregorian, or New Style, calendar in 1582.)
The men of the village, wearing masks, costumes, and heavy harnesses with bells, traditionally walk in groups from house to house—or, in the surrounding countryside, from one farm to the next—singing wordless yodels. The friends and neighbors who receive them offer them a drink before they move on to the next house. The yodelers are usually so well disguised that their neighbors don't recognize them.
SOURCES:
EncyChristmas-2003, p. 690
FestWestEur-1958, p. 242
FolkWrldHol-1999, p. 34
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 168