Hirschegg Panorama at night | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Dominik Berchtold

29 Nov. 2019 · Family | Winter Activities
Carolin Schratt

New Yea'rs Eve 2019: Say no to fireworks!

On New Year's Eve, the use of fireworks is responsible for tons of garbage, air pollution and extreme noise.
New Year's Eve can be a big burden especially for the very young and old.  Animals experience a lot of stress from the use of rockets and loud fireworks. For the first time and out of respect for ourselves, the animals and nature, we call on everybody this year to voluntarily forgo the use of fireworks!

Freiwilliger Verzicht auf Silvesterfeuerwerk | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus

Once again, a year is coming to an end. Time to forge those New Year's Eve plans, right? Whilst your're weighing up the open-air New Year's Eve celebration in Riezlern or looking at the stars away from the hustle and bustle, we have made a conscious decision: This year we will forgo the use of fireworks on New Year's Eve and call on you to do the same!

We are very aware that the use of fireworks on News Year's Eve is a long and loved tradition. However, in this day and age, we no longer view it as a fitting way to see in the New Year. We become aware with each passing year of the enormous burden this tradiition presents to ourselves, the animals and our breathtaking natural surroundings. Year after year, the use of fireworks on New Year's Eve is responsilbe for tons of garbage, air pollution and extreme noise.  On top of all this and despite the tireless efforts of our helpers and numerous private individuals, most of the rubbish produced falls and remains in our beautiful natural surroundings.

This year we will ring in a new era of what we hope, will become a long and loved tradition in its own right in Kleinwalsertal - without unneccessary rubbish, unneccessary air pollution and extreme noise; Instead of these things, we are looking forward to a colorful spectrum of unique experiences for an awesome New Year without fireworks. How about it, are you in?

District Music Festival Party Celebrations | ©  Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Dominik Berchtold

Tip 1: Open-Air New Year’s Eve Festival:

From 9pm on New Year's eve, the village square (Gemeindeplatz) in Riezlern will be declared a party zone. The live band Blaumeisen from Switzerland will keep the party rocking and a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and snacks will be available to keep you warm. Instead of Fireworks this New Year’s Eve we have opted for a fantastic (and nature friendly) fire show! Entry to this event is free of charge. Incidently, bad weather is no excuse not to drop in on the festivities as part of the party zone will be protected from the elements.

Panorama valley at night | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Frank Drechsel

Tip 2: Seeing in the New Year with the stars!

Whether you are in Riezlern, Hirschegg or Mittelberg, in the entire valley and not far from the villages, there are unique natural sites where you can enjoy an unforgettable view of the stars above us. Get away from the hustle and bustle of New Years eve and start you own countdown to midnight with your friends and loved ones in the midst of a Winterwonderland.  Above you the stars, around you, fresh clean air, a great place to express those special wishes for the New Year.  And who knows, maybe one or two shooting stars will fly through the sky and disappear behind the moutnain peaks, ready for you to express your New Year's wish!

Winter hiking in Kleinwalsertal | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen | Photographer: Oliver Farys

Tip 3: Winter Hiking along the Schwarzwasserbach.

‘In complete silence we hear the entire world.’ Some people prefer to experience the New Year period like the writer and satirist Kurt Tucholsky. They enjoy the tranquility of winter before the New Year’s Eve festivities and like to look back over the previous year in a reflective way. A hike along the Schwarzwasserbach river is a great way to do this. The starting point from Riezlern will take you along Eggstrasse and Kesselschwandweg down to the impressive Naturbrücke (natural bridge). You can then continue along this route over the Kesselschwand down to Schwarzwasserbach. The return trip takes you through the district of Egg and back to Riezlern. Variations to this route and different places to start the trip can be found here.

Gourmethost Haller's | © Kleinwalsertal Tourismus eGen

Tip 4: New Year’s Eve - Fondues to Gala Dinners:

A programme of culinary delights or just partying with the family – whatever you choose to do on New’s Year Eve, make sure you book early!

Alpengasthof Hörnlepass: Buffet & music
Cuisino at the casino: Gala dinner with comedy show
Genuss- & Aktivhotel Sonnenburg: New Year’s Eve gala menu with live music

Old Walser house in Bödmen | © Kleinwalsertal Tourism eGen | Photographer: Dominik Berchtold

Tip 5: Experience New Year’s ‘Jumping’

Have you ever heard of New Year’s jumping (Neujahrspringen)? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with ski jumping at the turn of the year! It is actually a lovely Walser tradition. On New Year’s Day, it is customary for school children to ‘jump’ from house to house, usually in pairs or threes, with the purpose of wishing the occupants of the houses a Happy New Year. They often sing songs as they do so or recite a poem  and receive a few coins for their efforts.

Locals like to reminisce about the times that they used to take part in New Year’s jumping: the times when they would pass by the baker’s shop and he would slip them some bread or something sweet or the butcher’s who would let them have a small sausage or some salami. A highlight was also the ski shop where you might get some ski wax. This would only ever happen during the day after the children had waited to receive their own New Year’s greetings.