Begging for food in richest Swiss city

The old town of Zug stands prominantly on the shores of Lake Zug (picture: swisspics)

The city of Zug kicks off Switzerland's carnival season with an unusual event on the last day of January. Children gather in the square at the fish market and cry out for a "baker's meal".

This content was published on January 22, 2001 - 10:47

The children are well aware that on this day, the guild of millers, bakers and confectioners are holding a remembrance service and enjoying a meal together. In response to the calls from the young, the guild members throw down pastries, oranges and little sausages from a balcony.

There are more treats in store for the children of Zug on February 26. A traditional carnival figure, "Greth Schell", parades through the town carrying her husband home on her back after he's had too much to drink.

Accompanied by several colourfully dressed fools, Greth Schell hands out goodies to the awaiting children.

The third and final carnival event, "Chropflimeh", takes on a more romantic air. On March 4, groups of costumed singers visit couples who have requested to be serenaded. They pass doughnuts and wine to the singers from their window.

It goes back to a tradition practiced on Shrove Tuesday, when, at the stroke of midnight, the dancing and masquerading stopped. The male dancer would invite his female partner to have a snack, and she reciprocated by serving him coffee or wine with doughnuts the following Sunday.


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