Monday, April 22, 2013

S-T Posts: Switzerland Time

Snowman Stock Images - Image: 27777514
source

Switzerland is a country made famous for its dedication to keeping time accurately.  The watches produced there are valued world-wide.

That said, another famous Swiss attribute is its work ethic.  

People expect to have a job, save money, work hard, and that is all there is to it.  

The city of Zurich exceptional work ethic is celebrated on the third Monday of April, Sechseläuten.  This means literally “The ringing of the six o’clock bells”, referring to the fact that the workers of all the guilds could work an extra hour each day until autumn.  Hurray!

Quoting from a magazine,  Hello Switzerland, is this explanation:

“On the day itself, the bells are the cue for the ten-metre-high  bonfire in Sechseläuntenplatz (plaza) to be set alight.  

On the top of it is the Böögg, a giant snowman with a head full of explosives.  

When the fire reaches his head and the head explodes, winter is officially over.  Tradition says the sooner his head explodes, the better the summer will be.”


Per Wikipedia
Take that, Punxutawney Phil.  

26 comments:

  1. After this long winter, I felt like my head was going to explode also.

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    1. After watching Weather Channel and seeing Storm Zeus continue to cover the north with snow, I'd agree.

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  2. Interesting tradition! The thing that comes to mind for me when I think of Switzerland is their political neutrality. My former SIL used to say in the midst of a debate, "I'm Switzerland."

    Happy S day!
    tm

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    1. HAh! I will have to remember that one!

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  3. Never knew that, but extra hour and a hoorah, pfft to that.

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    1. Let the snowmen's heads explode!

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  4. This year I have been thinking I'd like to blow the head off that dumb groundhog.

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    1. You may have to get a special hunting license.

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  5. A good work ethic does seem to be lacking a bit on this side of the pond.

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  6. It is very fitting that the watchmaking country would keep careful track of its work hours.

    We're expecting more snow today, and I am so ready for the exploding head!

    Jenny at Choice City Native

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  7. Poor Phil, he's getting a bad rep this year. I think the Swiss are like Swedes, but more so. I have this thing from Sweden that I must be on time. I have lived in the US for over 50 years and no one takes being on time that seriously here. Still I must be on the minute and it causes a lot of unnecessary stress.

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    1. I grew up in Illinois, and being late is almost a sin. Arrive on time, or even 15 minutes early was the mindset there.

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  8. I love to learn about traditions like this. Very fun. I may have some Swiss in me that I don't know about, because I'm kind of obsessed with being on time. I have very little patience with people who are habitually late.

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    1. Same here. My husband's family is always on the late side.

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  9. The exploding head of a snowman--that is an interesting tradition :)
    Have you ever seen the movie "You Again"? It is sooo funny and has the cutest lines (in a small section) about Switzerland--the clocks, the land and the cheeses. :)

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    1. No, I haven't. It is now on my list of TBW.

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  10. That's hysterical! What a great way to end winter. My step-grandfather was Swiss. He used to tell this story about German and Swiss higher-ups viewing Swiss troops. The German says to the Swiss, "You know, our army is twice as large as yours." To which the Swiss says, "Then we will have to issue two bullets to our men."

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  11. Where did the time go? So sorry, but my human has been lousy keeping track of time and he's left it up to me to leave a comment.

    Switzerland, watch out. We have "Hedgehog Day" in Britain. Switzerland, watch out. We have "Hedgehog Day" in Britain.

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

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  12. What a great story. Love learning tidbits about places and countries. Don't think we have anything like that in California ... but we just work all the time anyway. :)

    (Glad I found your blog again. Am going to subscribe).

    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

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  13. My father instilled punctuality into us very, very firmly. I am now almost always early - and never late. One of my friends is frequently literally hours late - and it drives me to distraction. I have taken to giving her a meeting time which is at least an hour early. And she is still late.

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  14. The exploding snowman head is more exciting than poor Punxutawney Phil! I wish that I were a more punctual person. Cute story!

    Julie

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  15. I'm not sure if I was born punctual or if I just became that way...but I really am. ;)

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  16. That is an exciting tradition. I think the exploding head trumps Groundhog Day. Visited Switzerland once and really enjoyed the people, customs, and fondue!

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!