Bavania

Bavania

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When slippers fly.

Every year at Epiphany (6 January), various villages in the Upper Engadin foster a very special custom. In the evening, the village girls gather in the village square to practise the tradition of “Pantoffelwurf” (slipper throwing). To the loud applause of onlookers, they throw a slipper over their shoulder in a high arc – and eagerly look to see which way the slipper points when it lands, for it is said that one day their future husband will come from that direction.

And there are more attempts to look into the future: after the slipper throwing, young and old alike devote themselves to “bleigiessen”, or pouring liquid lead. They melt a small piece of lead and in one quick motion pour it into cold water; the lead instantly hardens into bizarre shapes and ‒based on the descriptions in an ancient, handwritten oracle book ‒ allude to what the New Year will bring.

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