The Swiss Society of Denver Newsletter January 2014 From the Desk of the President… Well here, we are again ready to turn the page on another year. It seems like these are coming faster and faster each year. Once again, everyone and their brother will come out with their yearend recap of 2013. Resolution lists for the New Year and a look back at the best and worst of 2013 will be everywhere. This newsletter is no different: well kind of. My New Year’s resolution to the club is to provide informative facts among other things. Here are five interesting tidbits:
The military salute is a motion that evolved from medieval times, when knights in armor raised their visors to reveal their identity
Strawberries are the only fruits whose seeds grow on the outside
The roar that we hear when we place a seashell next to our ear is not the ocean, but rather the sound of blood surging through the veins in the ear
Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean
Board President Marcus Suter
Vice President John White
Treasurer Suzanne Sarasin
The Earth gets 100 tons heavier every day due to falling space dust
So next time you are at a gathering or maybe get on Jeopardy, these facts may come in handy. It sure beats seeing a list of the top 10 reality shows of 2013!
See you at our next meeting on Thursday, January 9th. Auf Wiedersehen Marcus
Financial Secretary Robert Ochsner
Recording Secretary Maureen Suter
Trustees Suzanne Beer Shirley Ochsner Renee White
Editor Renee White 303-680-7069
PAST and Upcoming Events
December Annual Voting- Voting of officers took place at our December Meeting. The Board will remain the same for the 2014 year. Thank you to the members who participated in the voting process and to Paul Wilson for conducting the election.
Thank You! Thank you to the Board and members who helped make 2013 a success. We experienced some wonderful outings and were able to help several charities. Please submit any ideas for meetings or outings for the 2014 year to John and Renee White at 303-680-7069.
January Meeting – will be held at McCabe’s Bistro and Irish Pub in Southlands on Thursday, January 9, 2014 at 6:00pm. McCabe’s is located at 6100 South Main Street, Aurora 80016, and their phone number is 303-627-6234. We will be meeting upstairs in the semi-private room. There is an elevator for those who would need that. We will enjoy an Irish-style Buffet.
February Meeting – will be held on Thursday, February 13th at 6:00pm. The location for this meeting will be announced at the January Meeting.
Recipe Corner BLUMENKOHLSUPPE - Cream of Cauliflower Soup 1 medium head cauliflower 1 c. heavy cream 2 T. butter Salt 6 T. flour 1/3 c. finely chopped chives 1 egg yolk 3 1/2 pts. Water Wash and clean cauliflower. Cut flowers from head and soak in cold salted water for 15 minutes. Drain. In large pot bring the water to a boil. Put cauliflower in water, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from water. Pour water in alternate pot and retain for later use. Melt butter in pot and stir in flour. Simmer slowly, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown. Add retained water, stirring with a fork or whisk to prevent lumps. Salt to taste. Simmer slowly, covered, for 20 minutes. Beat egg yolks with cream and place in soup tureens. Add soup to soup tureen stirring into egg and cream with egg whisk. Add cauliflower to soup. Garnish with chopped chives. Source: Kitchen Kupboard Kookbook
Bon Appétit Just for Fun Winter Festivals and Celebrations Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch The “Silvesterkläuse” is a tradition that is almost entirely confined to the Urnäsch area of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. The best-known “Kläuse” wear female or male masks and costumes with huge cowbells back and front and carry enormous headdresses. They go from farmhouse to farmhouse, wishing the families a Happy New Year. The tradition dates back to 1852 and the reform of the old Julian calendar by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, which was rejected by the mostly Protestant people of Appenzell. This is why the Silvesterkläuse celebrate on 13 January, the date of New Year according to the Julian calendar.
Epiphany and star singing “Star singing” is a widespread custom, which is practiced, mostly by children, from the last week of Advent to Epiphany (6 January). It takes its name from the star that the singers carry, representing the star that guided the three wise men to Bethlehem. The children, some dressed as the magi, go from door to door, parade through the streets or simply stand in the village square, while they sing a series of carols and hymns. Vogel Gryff in Kleinbasel Kleinbasel, the part of Basel on the right bank of the Rhine, provides the setting for the Vogel Gryff festival. The date of the festival rotates according to a three-year cycle between 13, 20 and 27 January. At the centre of the festival are three heraldic figures, the “Vogel Gryff” (griffin), the “Wild Maa” (wild man) and the “Leu” (lion), who dance in the streets of the town. Festivities begin with the Wild Maa floating down the Rhine on a raft, where his companions join him. All three take care always to dance with their backs to the left bank – a show of disdain for their rich neighbours of Grossbasel. These heraldic figures represent the former honourable societies of Kleinbasel, which performed mainly political and military functions. Festivities end with a celebratory dinner and dancing in the town. Tschäggättä From February 3rd to Ash Wednesday, masked “Tschäggätta” parade through the villages of the Lötschental in the canton of Valais. These masked figures get their name from the black and white colour of the goat or sheep skin tunics that they traditionally wear (“tschäggätta” means piebald in the local dialect). The tradition was originally a courtship ritual practiced only by the local bachelors. Times have changed and now anyone can join in. For the deeply religious inhabitants of the Lötschen valley, these distinctive and somewhat demonic-looking masks represented anarchy, rebellion and chaos. Carnival Carnival or Fastnacht as it is known in German-speaking Switzerland, heralds the end of winter and is celebrated across the country. However, the timing of these extravaganzas varies from one canton to the next. The Basel and Lucerne carnivals are the biggest and best known carnivals. This ancient tradition is a blend of Christian rites, secular folk customs and pagan spring festivals. In some cantons, carnival is based around the pagan custom of using demonic looking masks to chase away evil spirits. Masks and costumes help people take on a new identity while they parade through the streets, often playing musical instruments. Basel Basel carnival (Fasnacht) is one of the most extravagant traditions in Switzerland. At 4 am, precisely the Morgestraich begins, heralding the start of festivities in the city on the Rhine. The streetlights are switched off, throwing the city centre into darkness. Soon the stirring sound of piccolos and drums are heard, and a motley crowd of masked and costumed figures burst into view. The Basel Fasnacht tradition dates back to the 14th century and is held on the Monday following Ash Wednesday. After the dawn procession, festivities continue throughout the day, much in the same vein, with music, processions and plenty of noise. In the evening cafés and restaurants, provide a forum for the “Schnitzelbänke”, a collection of satirical verses and songs on local political issues. Source: http://www.swissworld.org/en/culture/seasonal_customs/advent_and_christmas/