August 01, 2010
Decked Out for Swiss National Holiday Today
Today Switzerland is 719 years old. Although apparently this is an approximation ("early August").
We like to think that the First of August is the day in 1291 that the first three cantons bound themselves together in a confederation: Uri, Unterwalden and Schwyz.
Unterwalden later split into Obwalden and Nidwalden, as I understand it. In the winter, we drive through most of NIdwalden to arrive at Engelberg, a ski resort over the border in Obwalden.
Schwyz is at the southern end of Lake Zurich. Zurich wasn't added as a canton until 1351. Geneva was only added in 1815!
In any case, our house is decked out for the country's birthday today, with flags of each of the 26 Swiss cantons, and so on:
The round things are "lampions" - and will have little white candles in them tonight, lighting them up from inside. I don't know the German word, only the French, from growing up over in that region. We have special wooden rods with which to carry them, should we go for an evening walk under fireworks...