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A journey through Swiss customs and traditions

25.05.2020 – SUSANNE WENGER

“A wild array of customs and traditions are condensed into our small country,” note folklorist Sibylle Gerber and photographer Dominique Rosenmund. Along with two journalists, Gerber and Rosenmund have traced at first hand and then documented some of these diverse rituals in a new book. With 21 written commentaries and over 100 images, the book draws the reader directly into the events as they occur – from the intense heat of the Chienbäse fire procession in Liestal, to the Lichterschwemmen (floating lights) of the Seetal valley; and from the weeping women of Romont to the annual fish festival on the shores of Lake Maggiore. Besides popular traditions, the book delves into some less well-known local customs. This attractive, handily sized publication is ostensibly a travel guide, but is also interesting as a book in its own right. The authors avoid the usual tourist clichés and flag-waving. As such, they manage to convey the fascination and community value of these rituals all the more authentically.