We’re done with the winter…

 

Typically Locarno! As soon as the last boats leave the port of Locarno in the autumn, those left behind in the sunniest corner of Switzerland start longing for warmer days. The mountains are still covered in snow; the ski season is in full swing. In the towns around Locarno, however, the locals are busy making a racket to drive out the winter.

It is, without a doubt, the best day of the year for the children of Locarno: so much noise with nobody to tell them off. Only today do they get to roam the streets with tin cans, pans, pots and drums, rattling and clanging to their hearts’ content. They pull the empty tin cans across the ground on a string and bang the pots and pans together. The resulting noise is said to drive away the ghosts of winter and wake the spirits of summer from their slumber.

This tradition is called “Bandir Gennaio” and takes place every year on 31 January. Back in the day, the children used to head out by themselves and banish the winter from their local area. Today, the processions are organised and supervised by parents or teaching staff.

Once the hard work is done, everyone enjoys a snack together on the market square. We can't wait to see how long it will take the kids to drive out the old ghosts and wake up the new spirits this year!