Youth festivals in Aargau and Solothurn


Category:
Social practices
  • Oral expressions
  • Performing arts
Canton:

Description

Large youth festivals take place in a number of towns in the cantons of Aargau and Solothurn. They are of great significance to the identity of the respective town and to all the generations of its residents, often representing the key event on the calendar. The youth festivals in Aarau, Brugg and Lenzburg are more than 400 years old; those in Baden and Olten date back around 200 years. As they are usually held before the summer holidays, they mark the end of the academic year for schoolchildren. During the festivals, which span a few days, children and teenagers compete in games and sports events and, most importantly, take part in processions, which are the highlight of the events. School classes parade with their teachers through the town, usually with the girls wearing flowers in their hair and the boys sporting a single flower on their lapels. Music groups and not infrequently local politicians are also part of the procession, and the programme includes addresses made to the schoolchildren. Annually in Zofingen and every two years in Lenzburg, the Freischaren troops “attack” the cadets in a spectacular and entertaining show.

Image gallery

  • Parade of schoolchildren through Aarau old town in the 2011 May procession © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Parade of schoolchildren through Aarau old town in the 2011 May procession © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Schoolchildren decorating Brugg town centre during “Büscheli” week © Peter Merz, 2010
  • The procession in Brugg: Some of the boys are carrying branches from leafy trees © Karin Janz, 2011
  • © Peter Merz, 2010
  • In Olten, colourful clothes and a great deal of artwork make the procession vibrant © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • Olten school festival: Every procession includes at least one music group © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • Drummers in the Olten school festival procession © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • A church window in Lenzburg, beautifully decorated by schoolchildren © Karin Janz, 2011
  • The Freischaren troops attacking © Thomas Hofstetter, 2010
  • Bedouin during the Freischaren attack against the backdrop of Lenzburg Castle © Thomas Hofstetter, 2010
  • Drummers on the town hall square during Zofingen children’s festival © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • Schoolchildren parading through the town hall square in Zofingen © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • “Wurstweggen” (bread stuffed with meat) is part of everyone’s lunch at the children’s festival in Zofingen © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • A decorated fountain next to the Catholic church in Aarau © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Olten youth festival: At all youth festivals there is an area dedicated to food and entertainment © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • Parade of schoolchildren through Aarau old town in the 2011 May procession © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Parade of schoolchildren through Aarau old town in the 2011 May procession © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Schoolchildren decorating Brugg town centre during “Büscheli” week © Peter Merz, 2010
  • The procession in Brugg: Some of the boys are carrying branches from leafy trees © Karin Janz, 2011
  • In Olten, colourful clothes and a great deal of artwork make the procession vibrant © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • Olten school festival: Every procession includes at least one music group © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • Drummers in the Olten school festival procession © Oliver Lang, 2011
  • A church window in Lenzburg, beautifully decorated by schoolchildren © Karin Janz, 2011
  • The Freischaren troops attacking © Thomas Hofstetter, 2010
  • Bedouin during the Freischaren attack against the backdrop of Lenzburg Castle © Thomas Hofstetter, 2010
  • Drummers on the town hall square during Zofingen children’s festival © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • Schoolchildren parading through the town hall square in Zofingen © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • “Wurstweggen” (bread stuffed with meat) is part of everyone’s lunch at the children’s festival in Zofingen © Kira von Rickenbach, 2011
  • A decorated fountain next to the Catholic church in Aarau © Karin Janz, 2011
  • Olten youth festival: At all youth festivals there is an area dedicated to food and entertainment © Oliver Lang, 2011

References and documentation

Publications
  • Max Banholzer: Vom Ursprung des Rutenzuges. In: Brugger Neujahrsblätter 94. Brugg, 1984, p. 39-43

  • Alfred Bärtsch: Schweizer Feste und Bräuche: Volksfestkultur im Jahreslauf. Wädenswil, 2009

  • D. Johann Georg Krünitz: Oeconomische Encyclopädie. Publiziert 1773 bis 1858 in 242 Bänden

  • Adolf Plüss: Jugendfest mit Freischaren. 150 Jahre Freischaren-Manöver Lenzburg. Ed. Ortsbürgergemeinde Lenzburg, Lenzburg, 2002

  • Gabriele Plüss: Das Schulfest – einst und jetzt. In: Oltner Neujahrsblätter 44. Olten, 1986, p. 38-41

  • Stadt Aarau (Ed.): 400 Jahre Aarauer Maienzug. Bearbeitet von Jan Ganter, Aaron S. Geissmann, Hermann Rauber, Dr. Ralph Weingarten, Erich Wiederkehr. Aarau, 1988

Documentation