Monday, 17 March 2014

Celebrating Easter in Switzerland – What to Expect When You Move

If you are moving to Switzerland, with Easter coming up soon you may want to know how the Swiss mark this grand occasion. The good news is that the Swiss celebrate events in style and if you are moving abroad as a family, your children will enjoy taking part in the festivities (as well as eating all that delicious Swiss chocolate!). Meanwhile, the adults of the family can look forward to an extended holiday.

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Easter in Switzerland

Easter is a grand cause for celebration and, just as in Britain, children can wake up to chocolate eggs and egg painting. Many Swiss families also decorate their homes too and some have an Easter ‘tree’, which might be a bush or branch from which they hang delicious Swiss chocolate eggs, chicks and bunnies. As Swiss chocolate is known worldwide for its quality, the chances are the adults will want to indulge in some chocolate eating too! Decorating at Easter is not just confined to the home; many shop windows in cities, towns and villages will be awash with colour as decorated eggs are put on display in shop windows.

The Easter Egg Hunt

If you are arranging removals from the UK to Switzerland with children, just as in Britain the day generally starts with an Easter egg hunt where the youngest members of the family will get the run of the house and/or garden to gather as many eggs and chocolate bunnies they can find. The winner, who is the one who collects the most eggs, will be rewarded with even more treats!

If you are moving to Zurich, you will discover a traditional Easter custom called Zwanzgerle, which involves the adults. Children challenge the adults to break their painted eggs with a coin thrown from the distance. If the adult is successful, they get the coin and the egg, and, if not, the children get the coin. In most cases, this is the perfect opportunity for children to top up their pocket money!

In addition to these games, various Easter egg hunts take place all over the country, which also include a host of children’s activities. So, if you are organising removals from the UK to Switzerland, it is well worth finding out what is happening in your area, so you can join in the fun.

Easter Festivals

Easter is very traditional in Switzerland and wherever you settle in the country, you can expect a festival or celebration of some sort. Street markets, egg hunts, live music, craft making, egg decorating, egg and spoon races, and parades take place in towns and villages all over the country.

As well as the regular events, there are also more unusual festivities. For example, in the town of Nyon in the canton of Vaud, fountains are decorated with colourful flowers, eggs and ribbons. It is a delight to see and the children will enjoy discovering the decorated fountains. More comically, in the village of Rumedigen, Bern, you might be a bit taken aback to see people throwing wooden clubs on the ground on Easter Sunday. This is a throwback to when it was forbidden to play traditional sports on the day, and the aim of the game is to get your club closest to the oldest player’s club. 

Expats will also discover various sombre and religious festivals taking place in Switzerland. On Good Friday, for example, in the town of Romont, Fribough, a procession of veiled and weeping women carrying crimson cushion with symbols of Christ’s passion, parade through the streets dressed in black.  Also, on the day, there is a procession in Mendrisio, Ticino, where people walk through the streets carrying statues of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Wherever you live, you will never be short of things to do at Easter!

Hamiltons organise removals from the UK to Switzerland that are designed to take all the stress out of moving house. Whether you are moving home or office to Switzerland contact Hamiltons Removals  as we have more than 20 years of experience in making your move run smoothly.

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