We woke up yesterday to find that our neighbours had really pushed the boat with their 1st of August decorations...
The Swiss take their national day seriously. The Schweizer Bundesfeier (Swiss National Day) is quite a recent happening (it started in 1994) to commemorate the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy. As an expat with virtually no knowledge of Swiss history, I have Wikepedia to thank for the information I am about to give you!
It seems that the Bundesbrief (Letter of Alliance) that documents the Ewiger Bund der Drei Waldstätten (League Of The Three Forest Cantons) dates back to early August 1291 (and inspired the current date of the Swiss national holiday). So 720 years ago, the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden united to form the Swiss confederation, and that's what we are celebrating
We went along to watch the parade in Zürich city centre this morning.
The Swiss DO love to dress up. Several times a year (and sometimes for no apparent reason) you'll find people wearing traditional costumes or in full medieval gear walking around the city (you can see what I mean here and here). And they are quite good at it!
Food stalls were waiting for us at the end of the parade, some selling the "1. Augustweggen", the special bread baked to celebrate Swiss National Day...
...and others selling produces from all the different cantons. I had mushroom risotto from the Ticino stand and had never seen these big risotto pans before!
The morning celebrations ended with speeches...
... and traditonal songs.
Fireworks went off in the evenings everywhere. We were tempted to go and see the Meilen fireworks down by the lake but Alf was so petrified and literally barking-mad that we decided to play it safe and watch them from our balcony.
I hope that all my Swiss readers had a great National Day!