Silvesterumzug in Wil (SG)


Wil SG: Wil

Wil SG: Wil

New Year's Eve (December 31)

The New Year's Eve Procession in Wil is associated with what was originally known as "lantern inspection". In earlier times, it was obligatory for all houses to have emergency lighting. Compliance with the regulation was checked by a town committee.

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A formal inspection took place on New Year's Eve, and still does. Although nowadays emergency lighting is only recommended, traditionally minded houseowners insist on hanging an oil or candlelit lantern on the wall for the occasion. At six o'clock in the evening, several hundred children proceed through the darkened town, carrying their own handmade lanterns and accompanied by drummers. In three specific spots, young and old sing hymns and carols to the accompaniment of the town band. On their way back, the city gleams in the festive lighting. To end the evening, two merry songs are sung and each child participating receives a pastry. On the evening of New Year's Day, the lanterns are examined, with the best ones receiving prizes in kind.

The procession may be associated with earlier times in which the inspectors were accompanied by lantern bearers. This job has been taken over by the children. The hymns and carols are a reflection of the contemplative mood of the community on the last night of the year.

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