Saturday, August 02, 2014

Swiss National Day

After chasing alpine views on Thursday, we decided to race around a third of the country trying to celebrate Swiss National Day on August 1st (essentially their July 4th). We'd already made our itinerary and booked our hotels by the time we found out we'd be in Switzerland for their national holiday, so we had to make do. Except that after doing some internet research, we discovered that where we were on Thursday, they were celebrating on Friday, and where we were going on Friday, they would be celebrating on Thursday! What's a tourist to do? We charged out of Fluhli and drove straight to Zurich.
 This is what we found. A lovely swiss choir, all wearing their traditional costumes, 
 the Zurich city band, 
 even spectators in their traditional finery, 
 an excellent flag waver, 
 this darling woman whose mother was from Bern. She said even though they were in Zurich, her mother would never wear the Zurich colors (blue and white, like BYU) and she always wore her Bern costume. Now she does too.
One of the things Rob needed from this trip was pictures for his classes on campus and online. He has plenty from Germany and Austria, but hadn't been to Switzerland in 22 years. So this chance to see everyone decked out and doing the ceremonial traditional thing was an absolute gift. I'd been dragging the zoom lens around all week, and it finally came in handy! These soldiers were even wearing little leather backpacks with bedrolls (see below).
 And then they shot off their guns. I love that several of the mothers had brought big headphones for their kids!
 I just love this photo.
 Then the alphorns began to play, and men danced and tossed the swiss flag in time with their music. As an aside, the alphorn sounds fabulous when it's outside. This was mellow and beautiful even with all these people blasting away right at us. They usually make me wish I had headphones when I'm in a concert hall with them.
 They are a pain to carry! Makes a cello look easy, right?
 And more and more beautiful traditional costumes. Some of these dirndls (are they dirndls in Switzerland?) had more jewelry on the bodice than I have in my whole jewelry box.
Here I am with a few members of the choir.
 These flag-bearers all represented different guilds.
 And this woman, with her fingerless gloves and beaded headdress and silk flowers tucked in her bosom was a personal favorite of mine.
 While all of the official stuff was going on, there was plenty happening behind. They had booths set up for each of the Cantons, or provinces, of the country. These two men are singing in Romansh, the fourth language of Switzerland.
 And people were eating all kinds of good food from wurst to saffron risotto. I don't know the significance, but I loved the fact that women like this one all had fresh flowers in sprays, baskets, and nosegays. We took in all that we could and then decided to explore a little more of Zurich.
 But wherever we went, the fashion forward were celebrating August 1st.
Ein Herz für die Schweiz!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I loved all the little floral adornments at the Swiss festival I attended as well. So cheery and not a hint of irony!