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Old 19.09.2011, 10:01
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Chilbi time

Well, it's Chilbi and Viehmärkt time in my little village.

At 7.00, cows adorned with large bells were herded from every direction into the middle of town to be judged and crowned. The neighbor kids stopped by to ask for one of my supply of Hirthämlis to be used in the cow parade after lunch. My kids are working in their clubstands this afternoon and evening. Locals and former residents swarm into town, walking by the market stalls looking for something enticing, buying Kräpfli at the local bakery, taking a quick look at the prized cows and just enjoying the moment visiting and gossiping.

The parade is the highlight of the day when the cows are marched up and down the main street, led by their proud owners, owner's kids or relatives. It's an exciting time because usually two or three cows try to take off or act up and it's fun (or sometimes painful) to watch the owners get control of their cows again. The bulls, large and honery, can take one's breath away. But the most heartwrenching part of the parade is the Trachtenverein with its Trachten kids, pulling little wagons or carrying typical alpine farmer gear as they walk down the streets in their cute little costumes.

If you have a chance to see a Chilbi with a cow fair, please go. It's one of the most traditional events of Switzerland.
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Old 19.09.2011, 13:22
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Re: Chilbi time

It is next weekend in Fluelen, so sorry I am missing it this year. I agree, I find it one of the most heartwarming of the years events.
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Old 19.09.2011, 17:15
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Re: Chilbi time

Quickly reporting back.

The Hafe Chabis was delicious. The market stands were the same as every year. I know the owners of Miss Swiss and Miss Utter personally. One bull jumped on another during the parade and there was a traffic jam of herded cows and cars on the streets soon after the parade.

The bumper cars are still a hit and my son kept turning up the music in the Pfadi tent.

Going back to the Jodler tent for some spaghetti and a Kacheli of Cafe Zwetchgen. Have to go into the Turnverein Zelt to say hi to some people too.

Gotta love Switzerland!

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Old 20.09.2011, 00:00
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Re: Chilbi time

Ok. I realize only a few of you may be interested in this last report but here it is:

After 6 Cafe Zwetchgens, paid for by my brother-in-law, godson and his buddy, I gotta admit:

the Chilbi was a huge success.

And the best: I could walk home.

Guet Nacht. Schlaf wohl.
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Old 20.09.2011, 09:53
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Re: Chilbi time

Had something like this in Fribourg a few weeks ago. 270 odd cows marched through the centre of the city with marching bands and people with deck chairs watching. Was all quite strange to me.

Apparently the first time in ten years that they've done it.
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Old 20.09.2011, 10:11
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Re: Chilbi time

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Had something like this in Fribourg a few weeks ago. 270 odd cows marched through the centre of the city with marching bands and people with deck chairs watching. Was all quite strange to me.

Apparently the first time in ten years that they've done it.
It was the Alpabzug - bringing the cows down from the mountain pastures for the winter.

Was actually surprised that they did it in Fribourg, as it's a bit of a donkey ride from the mountains (maybe they trucked them in, especially).

I've been here since 2000 and had never seen this in the city, till this year - plus it seems a bit early - next w/e (24th) is the Alpabzug that I'm familiar with in these parts: Schwarzsee to Plaffeien. However a farmer that we know, who usually participates in this, brought his cows down last w/e, alone ..... practicality over spectacle.
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Old 20.09.2011, 10:17
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Re: Chilbi time

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It was the Alpabzug - bringing the cows down from the mountain pastures for the winter.

Was actually surprised that they did it in Fribourg, as it's a bit of a donkey ride from the mountains (maybe they trucked them in, especially).

I've been here since 2000 and had never seen this in the city, till this year - plus it seems a bit early - next w/e (24th) is the Alpabzug that I'm familiar with in these parts: Schwarzsee to Plaffeien. However a farmer that we know, who usually participates in this, brought his cows down last w/e, alone ..... practicality over spectacle.
Mrs. G. went to this, she said it was quite spectacular. I think it's the first time it's ever been done in Fribourg town itself. We normally would go to Charmey for the Désalpes, but she said this one was far better. One of my daughter's friends was even sat atop some massive towed tree trunks, playing the accordion .
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Old 20.09.2011, 10:19
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Re: Chilbi time

A Chilbi and an Alpabzug are two wonderful Swiss events but one is official and the other is usually a private matter. I've noticed that in recent years, many towns have started using the Alpabzug as a tourism magnet. I'm not sure if these "Alpabzug"s are the real thing or just a show that the farmers put on after the cows have come down.

I've helped out in herding cows back down to the valley quite a few times. It's usually an event that is decided on a week before and offers the farmer a chance to be in the mountains, talk to the Alper over a strong cup of coffee and then walk the cows down to a place where they can load them up and transport them back to the farm.

This year, the cows are coming down earlier because they went up to the mountains earlier. There's a designated amount of time that the cows are allowed to be up in the alps.
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