This Monday was the traditional spring festival in Zurich, the “Sechseläuten”, marking the end of the winter. In a tradition that has lasted hundreds of years, members of various traditional guilds dress in historic costumes and parade through the city. In one of the main city squares a dummy, made to look like a snow man, is stuffed with fireworks and dynamite and burnt of top of a bonfire.
I took part in the procession as a member of the “Woman’s Guild”, which is interestingly the only guild not officially recognized by the other guilds. This is somehow symptomatic for Switzerland, where woman do not receive an equal voice in society, even 41 years after Swiss people allowed them to vote. But things are moving in the right direction, because in the parade this year, the “Woman’s Guild” was joined by a very illustrious guest – Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, who is the President of Switzerland 2012. To have a woman in such a high position is hugely encouraging.
Enjoy the film of the procession and at minute 9.40 you will see the “Woman’s Guild” (actually called The Fraumunster Society, the president of Switzerland, and myself in the group of ‘Fraumünster’ Ladies in their medieval gowns.