Sonnenwendfeier: Solstice Veneration, Switzerland

Oensingen, SwitzerlandThe Sun plays a special role to the solar system but also to mankind since centuries. She is considered as begetter of light and almost everywhere this veneration was related with fire. Now in our century it’s happening only every three years in Oensingen, Switzerland, at ‘the right time’ with height-fires and huge fireworks.

This amazing spectacle has another, mystical background as well. The organizers rely on the pagan tradition of the spring fire which were sparked to cast out the winter & to welcome the sun. The ritual should also secure the fertility, harvest & growth.

Oensingen, Switzerland

Here a short explanation of the solstice (for this seasonal point of view) which you can read from Wikipedia as well: It’s the moment in which the sun (throughout the year) reaches the biggest north (or south) declination. At this time the sun has the biggest angular distance to the sky equator and begins again turning back her declination move towards the sky equator. On 21st June the sun will stand at her northernmost which means summer solstice for the northern and winter solstice for the southern hemisphere.

Most important point of this happening is that the families of the highland village are firing at the ‘Ravellenterritory’ western of the Neu-Bechburg Castle & the families of the flatland more eastern in the deeper located ‘Vogelherd’. So there are two competitors, the Ravellenclub & the Vogelherdclub. This old tradition of the solstice veneration is still ongoing here in Oensingen.
Oensingen, Switzerland

A wide area will be closed for traffic and only to be entered by walk for the audience. On many spots there will be booths for food, drinks and souvenirs. People will enjoy and wait to take pictures or videos of the firework which will start first with the Ravellenclub and after a quick break the Vogelherdclub will fire back. Giant fireworks in every colors and shapes which won’t be possible to see anywhere else.

They are truly lightening up the black sky for couple of hours, creating a concert of banging firework rockets and finally leaving back a huge smoke cloud including a fine rain of ashes at the end of the night.

Oensingen, Switzerland

Whoever is amazed of fireworks just as me, you must see this once in your life!

Oensingen, Switzerland

I’ve got two videos of the firework in 2009 posted on my youtube channel. Please be informed that I had an old Samsung phone that time, which you might realize by the quality of the records.
Follow the links below to have a look on this spectacle!

Sonnenwendfeier Oensingen, Switzerland - Video 1

Sonnenwendfeier Oensingen, Switzerland - Video 2

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