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Traditions What Easter is normally like in Switzerland

For many people living in Switzerland, the long Easter weekend is usually a time for festive gatherings and maybe a trip to another part of the country. Because of the coronavirus lockdown, this year is quite different.

One classic “event” each Easter is the pilgrimage of sun-hungry northerners over and through the Alps to canton Ticino – popular for its mild climate, lakeside promenades and palm trees. This year the Swiss authorities have urged people to stay put – even if they have second homes waiting for them in mountain villages or other recreational areas.

The cities will also be quieter than usual. For example, social distancing makes it impossible for egg lovers to gather for traditional public egg-cracking parties. However, families at home can still play this game.

Despite restrictions on selling many non-essential items, retailers are still allowed to sell edible Easter-themed merchandise such as chocolate rabbits. Swiss supermarkets in general are well-stocked, though the recent surge in home cooking and baking means last-minute shoppers might have to be flexible about ingredients. Actually, that’s often the case around a holiday in Switzerland, when shopping hours are restricted anyway.

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