Aarau Bachfischet

Ok, this has to be one of the coolest traditions that Aarau has, one that has been going for over 150 years. There is a long story behind it… but basically the ‘Bach’ (stream) was a gift that a group of nuns from Aarau gave the city. Flowing water into the city. Annually, the Bach is emptied and cleaned by city workers and volunteers. Then, in the evening, the water is ‘turned’ back on. The children make lanterns and then parade with leafy branches and their lit lanterns along the river to celebrate the fresh water running back through Aarau. A lot of the Bach is now running underground. The children sing a cool tune as they parade down through the town (which is doesn’t make much sense):

Fürio, de Bach brönnt.
D’Suhrer händ en azündt.
D’Aarauer händ ne glösche.
D’Chüttiger, d’Chüttiger rite uf de Frösche.“

The parade is followed by a bonfire, fireworks, and the Mords-Chlapf (loud bang!). Here are some photos but they don’t give much credit to the very impressive lanterns the kids made. Even Toby got to hold one. Must try making some ourselves once.

Amazing how you can mix hundreds of fiery lanterns with tired children (in the dark) and still no one gets hurt. Only a few kids, I mean lanterns, caught fire! Haha.

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