Betruf Prayer

Niederrickenbach

At the end of a long summer day alpine herdsmen speak or sing a prayer. The herdsman uses a wooden milk funnel ("Folle") that intensifies his voice like a megaphone.

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Hearing the traditional “Betruf” prayer echo around the mountains at sunset is a moving experience. One place you can witness this custom, practised mostly in Catholic regions, is at Musenalp. From Niederrickenbach station, two short cable car rides bring you up to an altitude of 1,747m and lush, gently sloping pastures with patches of forest framed by the striking Buochserhorn. As the sun sinks to the horizon and the animals fall silent, this pristine landscape takes on a special aura. This is the hour when dairy farmers take out their “Folle”, a milk funnel of wood or metal, and use it like a megaphone to call out a prayer into the mountains, seeking protection for all living things up on the high pastures.

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