The soft sounds of hundreds of wooden Swiss alpine horns filled the valley below Switzerland’s Mount Tracouet on July 22. They had gathered for the world’s biggest festival of alpine horns.
The traditional instruments — called alphorn in German and cor des Alpes in French — look like long smoking pipes. They are over 3 meters long.
Swiss love the horns because their smooth sounds make them think of snow-topped mountain peaks and low-lying clouds. The horns were long ago used by herders to call their cows and were often blown in the evening.
This year, more than 3,500 people attended the three-day festival in the ski town of Nendaz. The town is in the Swiss canton of Valais above the Rhone River valley.
In the grand finale on July 22, about 200 men and women dressed in folk costumes blew their horns at the same time, trying to impress the judges. (Reuters)