Some stumbled, others reached new heights. The past 12 months in Switzerland have been filled with impressive images and odd scenes – from sport and traditional customs to political events. swissinfo.ch looks back at 2017 in pictures.
Things always get wild in canton Valais on the last weekend of August – that’s when up to 1,000 sheep are driven from their summer pastures over the Aletsch glacier to Belalp. The Schafscheid (sheep-sorting) then returns the sheep to their owners.
Every year on St Martin’s Day (November 11) a curious – and rather gruesome – tradition in the village of Sursee near Lucerne attracts locals and visitors: the “Gansabhauet”. A dead goose is suspended and participants – blindfolded by a pointed cap and a golden sun mask and wearing a red cloak – try to sever its neck with a blunt sabre. Whoever manages to do this can keep the mangled bird.
Some regions also host the “Räbeliechtli”, a night-time procession of lanterns made from turnips. In Fribourg, the celebrations for St Nicholas take place on the first three days of December; on a donkey and with assistants, St Nicholas winds his way through the city, blessing people and lobbing Lebkuchen (gingerbread biscuits) at them.
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