The city of Fribourg is preparing to welcome thousands of yodellers, alphorn players and flag throwers to the national Yodelling Festival next weekend.
Folklore groups from across Switzerland will descend on Fribourg for the three-day event beginning on July 5.The festival only takes place every three years and is proof that certain Swiss stereotypes are alive and well.
The competitions begin on July 5, but the festival is officially opened with a flag handing-over ceremony the following morning.
The competitions take place in halls and tents set aside for the festival, but the event usually sees the folklore groups bringing their music to the streets and alleys of Fribourg with spontaneous live performances.
Cowherds and shepherds
Nobody can say for certain how yodelling developed, but legend has it that it was invented by alpine cowherds and shepherds who sang loudly to fend off loneliness. They began to experiment with the range of their voices, which would echo through the mountains.
One of the highlights of this year's festival will be a midnight performance by hundreds of alphorn players, followed by a firework display.
The festival reaches its climax on Sunday afternoon with a giant parade through Fribourg, normally led by groups of flag throwers, who skilfully toss and twirl the red and white Swiss flag high into the air.
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