Author: Kristin Reinhard, Zug, Swiss Culture
THEY SAY NEVER TO PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD, BUT ONCE A YEAR THE BAKERS OF ZUG MAKE AN EXCEPTION …..
Inside the Aklin restaurant, over a last sip of wine, members of the Bakers Guild peer through the still closed windows to the gathering crowds in the old town streets below. The small group, mostly children with their accompanying parents, are waiting patiently with empty bags in their hands. For when the neighbouring Zytturm clock strikes 16:15 the windows will open and treats will soon fly through the air.
It's the last Wednesday in January, where for the past 332 years the Backers Guild of the lakeside city of Zug has met for the annual bakers' meal or "Bäckermöhli". But it is not the meal that has the crowds gathering, but rather what happens afterwards the plates have been cleared. Since 1686, the members of the bakers' guild have ben gifting food to the waiting crowds below. Back then, it was leftovers from their meal. Today it is treats of bread rolls, sausages and oranges.
The Zytturm bell chimes once, signaling 16:15 and the festivities begin. First, a brass brands kick off the celebrations with a cover of Up in the Sky by Swiss band 77 Bombay Street, a cleverly chosen song considering we are all looking up waiting for the windows to open. The music ends, the windows finally open, and the cheering begins.
But before the kids can start filling up their bags with bread rolls and oranges, it needs to get loud. The Zunftmeister, the guy with the chunky golden necklace, puts his hands to ears until the crowds chant "bäckermöhli" louder and louder.
And so it begins.
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