Contact our Clerk, Fiona Janczur:
Let Us Love One Another
The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers
Letzi Guild of Zurich
The city's guilds celebrate the end of winter with the ‘Sechseläuten’ in April every year. These festivities, which first began in 1867, start with a large parade where over 3000 guild members make a procession through Zurich
The day concludes with the burning of a large model snowman on a magnificent bonfire. Fireworks then go off which signal the end of winter. It is said that the quicker the snowman burns the better the summer weather will be. In the grand procession beforehand, over 3000 guild members march through Zurich in their traditional attire, many with marching bands and some on horseback, often accompanied by members of the Swiss government as guests of honour.
The guilds – or Zünfte in German – not only organise Zurich's most characteristic holiday, they are also a major feature of the city's history. They date back to the 14th century, and one of their functions was to lay down rules for the different crafts and trades, so that competition between craftsmen stayed fair.
In the guildhouse of the Zunft zur Letzi, a museum gives you much more background on the history of the guilds.