Monday, November 12, 2012


So on Saturday we had a fun outing to Richterswil, a little town near Zurich.  Actually, first we went to Zurich and looked at a van, and then we went to Richterswil.  Strangely, in all the years we’ve lived here, we haven’t ever really gone to Zurich to do anything—we’ve only flown in or out from there. 

Anyway, we went to Richterswil for their big Räbechilbi- or turnip festival.  (One website called it a Sugar Beet festival, but everywhere else calls it a turnip festival, so I’m quite sure they’re turnips and not sugar beets.)

Here’s a little info I found, this part specifically about the parade:

The procession, which moves along a predetermined route, is led by a group of women dressed in black. They represent "the churchgoers of Richterswilerberg". Tradition says that around 1850 they lit the way to the evening service in the village church with their lighted beets. Though research has shown that this lovely legend may not be true, this does not dampen the enthusiasm of the participants nor the general harmony of the evening in the least.

The whole village is lit up with over 10'000 carved turnips, in all the windows and along walkways.  Also people can bring ones they’ve carved or bought and they hold them with a little string or a stick.

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(Next two pictures are from the internet, not my own, although I did see that house and tried to take a picture, but mine didn’t turn out as nice.)

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Some of the individual turnips were carved intricately and beautifully, but I never did get a very good close-up of one the best (although I wanted to go up to a girl holding a gorgeous one and ask her if I could foto macken, but I didn’t). 

These next few pictures are from the internet—I really like this really cool flower one, and Gollum.DSCN4723 gollumDSC02967 DSC02969

We had brought bread, cheese, nutella muffins and we had borrowed three thermoses  from different friends and neighbors and brought hot chocolate.  The hot chocolate was delicious (if you like coconut flavor, try this recipe!) and it was still PIPING hot!  Thermoses are really cool!  I guess I have never really used them before, but to me it was super impressive.  :)  Maybe we will ask Santa Claus for some.  Silly thing was though, it wasn’t all that cold.  In fact, it was a beautiful, nearly WARM night.  I had been so good to bring hats and mittens for everyone, and we all pretty much took them off- Jethro was even in his shirt sleeves for a while.  It was awesome, because the whole morning in Bern it was raining and the whole way home it was pouring, but it was beautiful and dry while we were there.

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And, we happened to run into our friends from church!  Crazy stuff—it was fun getting to watch the parade with them.  Here’s Dru and Josh.


And Josh and Orrin.  (Her camera did better than mine with flash—mine made completely white.)

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And then the cannon sounded, and the streetlights went out and the parade began!

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I just loved when little kids came by carrying baskets full of lanterns, it was just so charming.

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Or carrying them along stretchers.


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There were several school classes.


And there were big floats, like this Jack Sparrow.


And bands.

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Isn’t this little girl SO cute?  I wish I knew who she was so I could give this picture to her mother.  :)


The blades on this windmill really turned.




Floating heads- ha ha.

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Then it was over and there were a gazillion people walking out of the village (I had to think about what would happen if all those people were in a panic…) and then Brett decided not to wait in the crowds to get on the shuttle bus back to where we parked, so we just walked, uphill, for a while, and Brett said, “huh, it seems farther than when we were driving”  ;)  but it really was kind of a nice night walk, maybe about a kilometer?.  All the kids ate a clementine or two when we got in the van, and then conked out.  Except Orrin, who stayed happily awake the whole way home.  Crazy kid. 

All in all, a fun excursion, and definitely worth my getting Brett out of the church responsibility he’d had (wait, shhhh, you didn’t hear that).  Bravo, Richterswil.


The Haws Family said...

That looks awesome! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your hat!

Andrea said...

That looked like so much fun. Especially the nutella muffins. I really need help with my food orientation. That is all. Have a life.

Kami said...

That is awesome! They should totally start pumpkin floats here. Any excuse for a parade at night and to drink hot chocolate. So cool.

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