Emmental Christmas Market
The atmosphere is warm and welcoming as I enter the large meeting room under the attic of centuries old country inn Zum Roten Thurm. In focused attention, a handful of regional artisans are putting the finishing touches on their stands for the opening of the bi-annual Emmental Christmas market this evening. Artisans by passion, they all live and work in the gorgeous Emmental valley, many of them work their own farm.
There are no flashy Christmas lights, repetitive music or pomp of any kind here in this peaceful, unhurried atmosphere. It reflects so well the melodic, measured Bernese dialect spoken by these country folks and it instantly awakens a sense of Christmas within me.
Classic and modern calligraphy
I meet Schönschreiber (calligrapher) Fritz Tschanz, who some years ago turned his passion into a profession. Without haste but much joy he explains the development of writing from the early Middle Ages onward, influenced by architecture and other aspects of the time.
I’m charmed by a baptismal certificate, painted and folded into a small square letter, a custom that goes back to the Middle Ages, before modern-day envelopes were invented.