Daily Prompt: 1st August, National Swiss Day

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).

See may last prompt on this subject – I have nothing more to add Dictionary-Schmictionary

Kanton Solothurn, Switzerland, Feldbrunnen flags

The following might be the truth, but as no-one was really there to see it all happen and it was 700 years ago, who knows. It might just be a figment of my imagination. It remains to be proven, by the amount of empty schnapps bottles found on a field surrounding the burnt out remains of a fire, there was a meeting. In the meanwhile it is not even today sure that there was a battle in Morgarten. Read on if you want to know the horrific truth.

Today is 1st August. Now what is so special about the 1st of August. As the story goes three guys/blokes met in a field somewhere in the middle of Switzerland. It was a cold evening so they warmed themselves in front of a roaring fire and shared a bottle of schnaps, probably brewed from the local juniper bushes, known to us in the english speaking world as Gin. These three men also decided to sniff some snuff which intensified the effect of the gin to an extent that they got big ideas.

“Let’s rid ourselves of the Habsburgers (occupation force), they are of no use.” said Fritz.

“I agree said Fridoline”

“I have the solution” said Melchior after taking a large pinch of snuff and opened the second bottle of schnapps. “We will start our own country.”

“Do you think that is good idea” said the other two “our wives might not agree”.

“Men” continued Melchior “I am talking of our future. What we now decide will be remembered by every person in our country.”

“But Melchior, what country?”

“We will call it Helvetia.”

“Huh” said Fritz.

“What” said Fridoline.”

“Helvetia, I said. It’s just as good as a name as any other. I read it on a Roman coin they used in our land.”

“Yes but Helvetia is not so easy to remember Melchior. I have an idea” said Fritz. “You know my wife’s Swiss rolls are famous through the village, so lets call this country Swiss Roll.”

“Forget it Fritz, you cannot name a country after food. We could call it Switzerland.”

“I will have to ask Helga. She is very particular about how her Swiss rolls are named.”

“Just a minute guys. It was my idea so I have something to say. It will be called Helvetia, but after we have killed the Habsburgers at our next battle, we will call it Switzerland.”

“We are having a battle with the Habsburgers?” Said Fritz.

“Why not. There is a little mountain pass near bye called Morgarten and it will be easy to ambush the Habsburgers. We could throw some Swiss rolls and chunks of Emmental cheese at them, and we might even find a few crossbows. Yes, we will go down in history. Switzerland will become independent and to commemorate the day we will establish some Swiss banks in Zürich, to keep the loot safe.” Melchior was proud of his ideas which were becoming more spectacular with each fresh bottle of schnapps he opened.

“Why Zürich” asked the other two men.

“Why not” answered Melchior.

And so the country of Switzerland came into existence on 1st August 1291, although when the men arrived home early in the morning singing “Vo Luzern gage Weggis zue” they were greeted with Helga’s rolling pin.

After a while the idea became reality and Switzerland was born.

That is why today we are celebrating our national day. I took the photo of the flags in our main road. The one in the middle is the Swiss National Flag. On the left you can see the flag belonging to the Kanton/State of Solothurn, the area where I live. On the right you can see the flag of my local village “Feldbrunnen”, showing our local castle, and a fountain, Brunnen being the German word for a fountain. So there we have it. Why we are exploding fireworks this evening, if it does not rain, and the children are marching through the local town holding lanterns containing a candle with Swiss subjects depicted on the lantern covers. There will also be a political speech by someone political in the town and Mrs. Angloswiss? She will be at home watching the fireworks from her garden and wondering why people spend so much money on it all.

Daily Prompt: 1st August, National Swiss Day

7 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: 1st August, National Swiss Day

  1. I feel very well-informed now. It all started in the kitchen and ended with a few drunks around a campfire. Isn’t that always the way it goes? I’m pretty sure Sam Adams, having brewed up a new batch of ale, got the entire city of Boston and most of the countryside plastered. After which, we had a riot. Which became a revolution. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am still laughing Marilyn, must get a handkerchief to wipe the tears out of my eyes. Yes, I can see you are really into history. The other story they only did for Hollywood, but the truth is always more interesting. Wait until I tell you the truth behind William Tell and the apple on his son’s head.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mrs. Angloswiss descends from phlegmatic English stock and will be keeping a stiff upper lip all day, party or no. 🙂

    But you’re softening history with Helga’s Swiss rolls and cheese. I believe Fritz and Franz and whoever else won their battles with halberds (helmbardse back then) as well as Swill rolls, knocking the Hapsberger knights off their horses like bowling pins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am isolated at home today. All the shops in Switzerland (I think except Interlaken where the tourists are) are closed for the day. Everything is closed, the only stuff that is happening is building the bonfires on the mountain tops. If someone flies over Switzerland this evening they will probably think we are under siege.
      Apparently that battle with the Hapsburgers (you know Gessler and all that lot) was the turning point in the Swiss Confederation, although we were not so much confederated then as today). Otherwise the Swiss preferred to fight for the others, agains payment of course. Yes we were very good at being merceneries.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Mrs. AS, you are really in your element today. Looking forward to the real story behind William Tell and his little boy.
    Perhaps you have the truth behind Isaac Newton and his apple too ?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s