I’m reading a book about Switzerland right now, its in the same style as Bill Bryson’s books. Travel writing but actually entertaining. While I value the way he presents Swiss history, there are some things that I already now are absolutely incorrect that he has published. One of these things are his comments about New Year, he seems to think that the Swiss don’t celebrate it, Zürich would like to state otherwise.
No more than a ten minute walk from our apartment was the biggest celebration of New Years in Switzerland (supposedly). Every year the Hotel Association in Zurich puts on the fireworks for the event, and the whole water front is cover in live bands and food tents (red on the map). The food tents are anything from crepes, kebabs, sausages, curry, chocolate cover strawberries, to raclette. The live band are also pretty diverse, from folky, rock classics, and punk. At midnight, there is no unified count down, just a sudden cheering and corks popping (alcohol in public is a-okay!), and apparently followed by 20 minutes of church bells ringing. We couldn’t hear the church bells because the crowd was so loud. Following the 20 min of bells is the 20 min of fireworks, which all the street lights are turned off for (purple launch pads!). Did I also mention that 200,000 people are estimated to be there?