The Christmas time is traditionally finishing with the celebrations of January 6th.
In some countries this day is even a public and religious holiday.
The Christian church celebrates the arrival of the three kings to see and adore the newborn Jesus.
Coming from Italy and living in Switzerland, I (and especially the kids) can “celebrate” in two different ways, following different popular customs.
The Italian tradition says that in the night of January 6th an old woman, a kind of witch (called in Italian “Befana”) comes and brings sweets to the good children and coal to the bad ones. In order to get these presents, the kids have to hang an empty sock in the living room, which this old woman eventually fills in overnight…
This year the children got a lot of chocolates from “Befana”. And I can finally say that they deserved them!
The Swiss tradition (Unfortunately in our Canton, Argovia, January 6th is not a public holiday) celebrates this day by eating the so-called three king sweet bread.
All the main supermarkets sell it… or you should even bake it at home, if you can. The bread is sold in a package with a golden crown… Inside one of the pieces of this bread a very small figurine (2-3 cm) of one of the three kings is carefully hidden. The person who finds this miniaturised king (if he or she does not break the teeth) can happily wear the golden crown!
This year I was the lucky one! I was almost swallowing the small king, but I fortunately realised that it would have been better to save it from an inglorious and pathless travel into my bowel!
The Carnival closed its curtain on Tuesday, as usual (even if in some cantons and cities it will last some days more).
During the Carnival, people normally have fun, get masked with funny costumes, make jokes and go to parties.
In the small village where I live, as every year, during this “amusement” period, some weird, dreadful and scary characters suddenly appeared in the weirdest places…
Quite creepy, isn’t it?
This is just Carnival, but maybe in Switzerland they mistake it for a horror movie?!
Today I was in Zurich in the quarter of Albisrieden, which I did not know so well.
I would have expected to find eventually a typical church dedicated to Calvin, or to Zwingli, the two famous Swiss reformers of the 16th century.
On the contrary I found something I would have never expected to see in Zurich.
A quite normal building where they spread the cult of Tom Cruise and John Travolta!
Scientology exists also in Switzerland: Swissology probably…
Many thanks to my wife for the interesting photo.
At first some figures and facts (from Wikipedia) about the liberal and open Switzerland when it comes to LGBT rights.
Same-sex relationships have been recognised since 2007 in the Confederation. In 2007, one in ten of all marriages in Zurich were registered partnerships between members of the same sex! However same-sex marriage is not legal yet (A proposal in this direction should become law at the beginning of 2019).
In one shop near Baden, you can already find the possible future, or the present, as you prefer, or the wishes of some people, or what other people are opposing.
Some “Barbie” style puppets representing different married couples: the traditional man and woman, then man and man and finally woman and woman.
Switzerland is also this: the materialisation and open exhibition of today’s actual world with its main trends!
Photo from huffingtonpost.it (source: Instagram).
What a shame, little Switzerland!
The embarrassing sign, written by the manager of an apartment hotel in Arosa, inviting the “Jewish” guests to take shower before and after the swimming pool, is travelling with the news all over the world! And it even provoked official complaints from Israel.
The word “Jewish”, the specification of which Jewish persons are meant (really all, no distinction: women, men, children!) and the threatening order really sound discriminating, offensive, scary and racist.
It is too easy and late now, Ms Hotel Manager, to say that you carelessly didn’t choose the right words for your scary sign.
It would have been probably better just to say “sorry” to all the guests: Women, men, children… Jewish and not!
Another bloody week has finished.
And here “bloody” has unfortunately its actual meaning. Europe, Stockholm this time, was attacked again by a vile terrorist who killed some people and made a mess just in the name of the Islamic State!
This is not acceptable! Everywhere everyone has an opinion… thousands of discussions are spreading around.
One of the main problems for me is how these people (the terrorists) are brainwashed, being convinced that doing what they are doing can allow them to reach a holy level and even the highest possible paradise. And of course the problem is how some presumed Imams dare to cause all this.
But here it’s Switzerland, and yesterday was a sunny warm day in Zurich, ideal for a nice walk in the city centre.
This is not about terrorism, but an incredible clever occurrence which I would like to share with you.
While reaching the station to go back home, we suddenly saw a small group of “sandwich” people, which were not advertising a great holiday, or a tasty snack or a smart magazine.
They were just wearing a vest saying “Free Koran”!
I was astonished at first. I have never seen something like this in a “western” city and I found this is one of the best answers to the bloody terrorists and all those who are supporting them.
The only way to learn that Islam can also be peaceful, friendly, civil and modern (as the real Muslims, not the fanatic, say!) is to know what it says.
That’s why I got a copy of the Koran, even in Italian, my mother tongue!
I am not Muslim, but catholic, however I will read this book and finally learn… who and what is right!
And, as usual, I was again astonished by the Confederation!
Switzerland: for sure a strict country where immigrants are not always welcome everywhere, but where the foreigners are so many and so different that every opinion is accepted and tolerated.
Today, while in Baden, I noticed a sign on a church door, announcing a “long night”, in which the churches were going to be open until very late!
Switzerland is very strange. There is a day of the year when churches remain open until late in the night with special organised events…
But I do not recall a similar occasion when just restaurants, shops, museums, “profane” businesses remain open all night long in countryside Switzerland… I do not remember any “white night” here!
Switzerland is very strange! No white night except than for churches…
Even if the churches are quite unidentified objects here in the Confederation! But probably because of this, churches have also the right to do marketing.
And a kind of “white night” is undoubtedly a decisive action in this way: A bright light to illuminate “buildings” which not all the people easily see…