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Rockstars Unspunnen festival: stone throwing for beginners

Beginners are getting the chance to discover traditional Swiss sports this week at the Unspunnen festival in the Alpine resort of Interlaken.

The week is dedicated to introducing folklore activities such as stone throwing, hornussen (which looks like a mixture of golf and baseball), schwingen (Swiss wrestling), flag throwing and shooting. About a thousand school children signed up for various sports, and the stone throwing proved particularly popular among tourists, as swissinfo.chexternal link discovered.

Stone throwing is thought to have been practiced since prehistoric times. It’s central to the Unspunnen festival, first held in 1805, with its symbol the 83.5 kg (184 pounds) Unspunnen stone. This was stolen in 1984 by regional separatists from Jura to make a political statement and was returned in 2001 before disappearing again in 2005, when a substitute was found. The Unspunnen festivalexternal link, held every dozen years or so, ends on Sunday, September 3. (Julie Hunt,

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