Bochselnacht in Weinfelden (TG)

Weinfelden

Weinfelden Stelzenhof

Weinfelden Stelzenhof

Thursday of the last full week before Christmas

On Thursday of the last full week before Christmas, the children of the town of Weinfelden in Canton Thurgau parade through the streets with their decorated fodder beets, which have been hollowed out and furnished with a lighted candle.

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A carol is sung in the Rathausplatz, or town square, after which the children stream to their schools for a hearty snack of sausage and bread. The adults adjourn to the local tavern or coffeehouse, and the town council holds its annual budget meeting.

The origin of Bochselnacht is disputed. Despite the mischief making implied in its name, the custom is now a well mannered event conducted by the teachers. Some prefer to see it originally as homage to Thor, who gave his name to Thursday. Others associate it with events following an occurrence of the plague in the seventeenth century.

However that may be, the Bochselnacht was generally practiced in the 19th century and is celebrated in similar form in other communities of northeastern Switzerland and southern Germany.

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