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Zurich turns water into wine

Wine ahoy!


About 4,000 wines from around the world can be tasted at Zurich’s wine exhibition, Expovina, which takes place from October 29 to November 10 on a dozen ships anchored offshore.

November is also the month to visit towns and villages celebrating a bizarre range of curious customs.

Zurich’s unique wine exhibition, Expovina, may be the best antidote for the blues brought on by chilly autumn weather and shorter days.

Visitors will be spoiled for choice with thousands of wines from five continents to sample.

It shouldn’t be difficult to find the right wine to accompany a meal in any of the ship restaurants, which will offer a wide choice for the discerning palate – from Italian fare to Swiss fondue.

Cheese Olympics

The eastern region of Appenzell will host a four-day event, the Mountain Cheese Olympics, to choose the best mountain cheese in the world.

From October 28 to 31, a cheese market will be set up in the well-preserved centre of the town of Appenzell where more than 300 mountain cheeses can be tasted.

Folklore shows will add colour to the event, which – now in its third year – is designed to promote and preserve the time-honoured tradition of making cheese from the milk of cows grazing on mountain pastures.

Curious customs

The ritual of beheading the goose practiced each year in central Switzerland has to rate as one of the most bizarre traditions in the country.

On November 11, locals in Sursee in canton Lucerne gather in the centre of town to take turns trying to “Behead the Goose”.

A goose is killed, and then brought to a wooden stage in front of the town hall, where it’s strung onto a wire.

Blindfolded and wearing a customary red robe and sun mask, people take turns trying to behead the bird.

The origins of the event are unclear but it’s believed to have been part of a medieval ceremony that accompanied the handing over of a payment in kind to the landlord, traditionally on November 11.

March to the beet

A procession of lanterns carved out of beets is the highlight of a traditional festival held in canton Zurich, but which is increasing popular with children across the country.

The largest and most traditional festival is the “Räbechilbi” in the town of Richterswil on Lake Zurich.

At exactly 6:30pm - this year on November 13 - more than 1,000 children and adults will proceed through the darkened town carrying impressively sculpted beet lanterns.

Tradition has it that the town’s women in the 19th century used hollow-out beets to light the way to the evening church service.



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