Heidi doesn’t waste wax on her legs…

But tons of it gets used each year during the Kerzenziehen (“candle dipping”) season.

There are all these heated cylindrical reservoirs of molten wax scattered around the floor of the church hall, and swarms of children from about four years old run around dipping string into them. They hold the string with their bare hands (I kid you not, no safety goggles or protective gloves or signs on the wall saying the wax is hot).  After a dip the string is cooled in the air for a few moments (i.e. the children then run around with the waxed string) before being dipped again.

This procedure is repeated until a decent candle shape emerges. The candle is then improved and decorated in a dedicated area and then wrapped and weighed. The wax used is paid for by weight. The whole thing takes about an hour or more and the atmosphere is fanbloodytastic!

I love this time of the year but……. there is no wind in Zug. After three years I think I have only noticed wind two or three times. When it rains the rain comes down, cloud to ground, in a straight line, unlike in London where it will feel like being in a car wash.

But one consequence of this is a persistent mist throughout the city during the first half of many days in the winter.  So on misty mornings like today, when I am desperate to see Sammy sun, I switch to the TV channel which is dedicated to the Zugerberg webcam and check if the sun is visible there. More often than not, the cam will scan over Zug (you can’t actually see the city, only the blanket of mist covering it) and show the bright sunny uplands above it.

Twenty minutes later I am parked and walking, all sun-glassed up, with my kids to the play area. Another thirty minutes and I have a good fire going and the kids are working up an appetite for the Würst I am about to cook on it.

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