Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Life in Medieval Switzerland

A very graphically illustrated life and times in medieval Switzerland, very aptly portrayed on these five nice stamps of that country. These stamps are part of a set of nine definitive stamps issued in 1977. Thank you Maria for this lovely FDC.
A brief description of the stamps in order from Left to Right is given below;-

Sternsingen, Bergün (5). Depicts a star singing the Bergun.

Sechseläuten, Zürich (10). The Sechseläuten is a traditional spring holiday in the Swiss city of Zurich celebrated in its current form, on the 3rd Monday of April, since the early 20th century. Following the parade of the (guilds), the climax of the holiday is the burning of Winter in effigy, in the form of the Böögg, a figure of a  snowman prepared with explosives. The custom of burning a ragdoll called Böögg predates the Sechseläuten. A Böögg was originally a masked character doing mischief and frightening children during the season.

Silvesterklause Herisau (20). A New Year's Eve or even Klaus' Silvesterchlaus, is a masked person. It occurs within the Silvesterklausens, a service in the Swiss canton ofAppenzell Outer Rhodes. Today, it is estimated that the Chlausen do not have a pagan origin, but goes back to a late medieval custom of the monastery students. In the 15th Century seems to have become the buzz getting wilder and fasnächtlicher and did not fit the church in Advent. Perhaps the Chlausen was therefore moved from the advent of the New Year. 

 Gansabhauet, Sursee (35).

Escalade Geneva (40), or Fête de l'Escalade (from escalade, the act of scaling defensive walls) is an annual festival held in December in Geneva, Switzerland, celebrating the defeat of the surprise attack by troops sent by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy during the night of 11–12 December 1602. The celebrations and other commemorative activities are usually held on 12 December or the closest weekend. The next weekend of celebration and remembrance will take place in the Geneva's old town on December 7th, 8th and 9th, 2012. 

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