New Farm Park, Brisbane

Sunday, December 6, 2015

FUHLEHUNG! FUHLEHUNG! HUNG, HUNG! (Lazy Dog)


(Continuing My Story)

When I was living in Thun (pronounced Toon), Switzerland in 1970, I was woken one morning at 4:30 by hundreds of children in the street below our windows chanting, "Fuhlehung! Fuhlehung! hung, hung!" Bill explained that the children were seeking out an unknown person dressed as a court jester wearing a devil's mask. The children chase him through the town calling him Fuhlehung! (Lazy Dog!). This practice can be traced back to the 15th century.  The children of Thun are told this story:

In early days when the Duke of Zaringen lived in the castle and ruled the land, he ordered the court jester to wake him and his men early to go to a battle. Alas, the court jester slept in and made the Duke late setting off. The Duke was so angry that he chased the court jester out of the castle calling him a 'lazy dog-fuhlehung'.' 

                           

 Now and then the Fuhlehung appears hanging out of office windows and throws the children sweets.

 Then he suddenly appears again on the street and the children chase him again and again. He carries with him a baton and a bunch of inflated pigs bladders to whop those who catch him or pull on his mask.

It is part of the annual "Ausschiesset" (Shoot-out)  Festival held every year in September. The shoot-out festival is where the town cadets have a crossbow competition. The festival stops the town for three days. There are processions, dinners and much partying but for the children the appearance of Fuhlehung is one of the highlights. In the above photo it is his job to keep the crowd quiet while the cadets are shooting. They shoot a target which is a picture of the mean ruler Gessler, who William Tell shot. The arrow nearest the heart wins.

The town cadets march through the streets to and from the shooting competition. In the 70's it was boys only. Today girls are included and often win the competition.
It was fun experiencing this custom of Bill's town.



20 comments:

  1. I've never heard about that before but it all sounds great fun. It probably wouldn't work here: far too many lazy dogs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Diane definitely what a great story.... fantastic custom

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Diane, what a fun custom. I am sure the children look forward to this event. Wonderful photos. Happy Sunday, enjoy your new week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is a local custom I have never heard of but there are many customs in Europe that go back to long ago centuries. It is nice to celebrate them and keep the past alive.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a new one on me, thanks for sharing. Interesting story and photos. Have a good day t'other Diane

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have never heard of that custom until I read it. How interesting..

    ReplyDelete
  7. this is all new to me, i would love the marching bands... i like hearing of customs all around the world

    ReplyDelete
  8. so many traditions, I did not know this one; there are just to many, every Canton, city, town has many to celebrate. You have great stories to tell from your Swiss life!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow what a bloody interesting tradition

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've only visited Switzerland once but I was so impressed by the landscape, the cleanliness of the cities, and the friendly people. I enjoy hearing about the traditions of other countries.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is absolutely fascinating. Thanks for sharing this festival with us.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Lazy Dog looks kind of scary. I'm sure it's great fun for the kids to chase him and hope they don't get walloped by a pig's bladder.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Lovely old traditions in Europe can be a lot of fun. I enjoyed learning about this one. Thanks Diane :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. The baton I understand Diane, the inflated pigs bladders not so much :) That's one of the things I love so much about Europe, there are so many wonderfully colourful traditions!

    ReplyDelete
  15. They sure know how to party! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  16. That's a colourful tradition, one I had never heard of before!

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a wonderful celebration! How fun! The town must enjoy this very much. Thank you for sharing this memory, Diane.

    ReplyDelete
  18. It is fun to see traditions form around the world --this sounds like lots of fun for children

    ReplyDelete
  19. some customs seem so strange to us in the states, yet they've been traditions since well before america was dreamed of. :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. I can't understand this word, I only know Fuelung, but that means feeling. But I have to say that swiss German is a special language ! Nice folklore ! Never heard about it.

    ReplyDelete