Happy 720th Birthday

cervelaHow do you celebrate your country’s birthday? So many traditions, so many countries. So, with the numbers against me, I’ll concentrate on one country. Mine. Well, I have two, so I’d better be clear on this and point out that I’m talking about celebrating the 1st of August, the National Day of Switzerland. Although I live in Switzerland, I was born in Australia, but oddly enough the major components of each country’s celebration are not that far removed from each other. Fireworks and – sausages!

While in Australia we throw some ‘snags’ (sausages) on the BBQ, here in Switzerland we put on our hiking boots and head off to the forest, find a spot for a fire, and grill our Cervelat. (Sausages again.) So being good little Swiss, we headed off yesterday for the forest and celebrated our country’s 720th birthday in true Swiss style.

After hiking up a hillside for half an hour, replete with backpacks full of cervelas and the rest of the picnic provisions, I was thinking how easy it was in Australia. Just pop out the back door and turn on the gas BBQ. But not so easy going here. Finally, after a steep climb, a little descent, another steep climb and yet another descent, we found our ‘special’ spot. Near a little creek, a small open clearing and perfect for making a fire.

Now, even in summer, Switzerland can be a little damp, so the hunt was on for some dry kindling to start the fire. My wife and I were helped immensely by our cocker spaniel, who just adored running off with all the best dry sticks, but finally, we had enough. A little newspaper and a mental note to myself to bring some Zippo fuel next year, we were away. Plenty of smoke and a lot of blowing, and finally, we had a fire.

Then came the ceremonial part when my wife carefully whittled two green sticks, peeled the cervelat, then with great precision, took her Swiss Army Knife and cut the Swiss ‘cross’ into each end of the cervelat. Then onto the green sticks and over the embers. Twenty minutes later, bliss! Cervelat, bread and mustard.

It was a great afternoon, and I just can’t wait for next year – and to remember the Zippo fuel! But here are some memories of today.

cervelat      swissday1st august



8 thoughts on “Happy 720th Birthday”

  1. You’re making me hungry. I love a good sausage with mustard. (German grand parents) I had friends from Switzerland who yoddled, made cheese and brought biberli back for me a few times. Switzerland sounds wonderful.
    Why do so many countries celebrate with sausages/hotdogs roasted over a fire?
    (Must now go buy some bratwurst.)
    Happy bday Switzerland! And thanks for taking us along on your picnic. :)

  2. Kathleen Crossley

    Happy birthday Switzerland!
    It seems like a lovely place to live indeed. And those sausages look amazing!
    No mustard for me though.

    Thank you for sharing Derek !

    Oh Margaret! I love bratwurst. I’ll have to add that to my shopping list this week. : )


  3. ☼ Happy Birthday Switzerland! Boy, do you make me feel young…
    I’ll celebrate with Veggie Sausages & make one of my favorite 4th of July “comfort foods” ~ good ol’ fashioned Macaroni Salad! ☮ ♥ ☼ ~Anne

    1. Kathleen Crossley

      That sounds wonderful Anne!
      And good old fashioned macaroni salad is the best! Miracle whip or mayonnaise ?
      My favorite is German potato salad. : )

      Summer festivities & clebrations always include fireworks, BBQ and making memories. : )

  4. Lelia Nazzaro

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way! <

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