The air is freezing cold and crystal clear. The sun is hidden somewhere behind the mountain peaks. It is 1 March, so it’s time for Chalandamarz. The first metallic jangling of a cow bell can already be heard. The bell swings from the hand of a schoolchild hurrying towards the school building. Two streets away, a whip cracks against the ground. More and more children dressed in vibrant blue farmers smocks, neckerchiefs and red pointed hats come pouring out of the laneways. They laugh and chatter excitedly among themselves against a cacophony of cow bells and cracking whips. The louder, the better. After all, the aim is to ring in the coming of the spring.