Eierleset (egg hunting) in Cantons Basel, Aargau & Solothurn
With some variation depending on the Canton, this age-old tradition is held similarly in one of two versions: either as a pure sports competition or a competition in dress up costumes.
Dress up is as important as the competition itself in the latter version. On the Sunday after Easter, two groups of competing runners – one dressed up representing winter, the other spring – collect as many of the one hundred raw eggs in their team’s basket as possible. The eggs are placed in sawdust rows and must be picked one-by-one. With every tenth egg special tasks need to be completed, like throwing the raw egg from a distance into a wide basket. Cheating and all sorts of trickery are encouraged, but in the end, the spring group has to win, even if winter has to hold back a little. The tradition goes back to at least 1556 when it is first mentioned in writing in Basel. Everyone participates in the “Eiertätschet” (cracking a fully cooked egg against that of a partner). The expectation is that the strength of the egg enters the eater and that fertile spring will start in the land.