What an interesting custom! When I first saw this, I thought they were hunters in camoflauge. The caption goes on to say that after the New Year Claus' sing and dance, they then receive food, hot drinks or money.
Ennio Leanza / EPA
Equipped with branches of pine trees and cow bells, some so-called 'Silvesterchlaus' (New Years Claus) walk towards a farm house to offer their best wishes for the New Year (following the Julian calendar) to the farmers in this region in Urnaesch, Switzerland, on Thursday, January 13, 2011.