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The costume consists of a brown wooden mask and brown or white sheep's skin.
In recent times Krampus and Perchten have increasingly been displayed in a single event, leading to a loss of distinction of the two.
It is celebrated on the first of March and marks the end of winter and the arrival of spring.
Its object is to scare away the evil spirits of winter and wake up the good spirits of spring.
Sometimes, der Teufel is viewed to be the most schiach ("ugly") Percht (masculine singular of Perchten) and Frau Perchta to be the most schön ("beautiful") Perchtin (female singular of Perchten).
Chalandamarz is an ancient festival celebrated by the Romansh speaking part of the Swiss Canton Graubünden.
Traditionally, the masks were displayed in processions (Perchtenlauf) during the last week of December and first week of January, and particularly on January 6.
The animal is made to tell the people of the town gossip.
At the end of the festival the creature is released until the next year's ceremony.
In the Alps, the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and paganism has been an ambivalent one.
While some customs survived only in the remote valleys inaccessible to the church's influence, other customs were actively assimilated over the centuries.