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Chilbi in Thalwil

Chilbi is the Swiss equivalent of an annual fair mostly held in the fall season. During fall, almost every city and larger town organizes it's own Chilbi. Rollercoasters and other fun rides are nowadays the most prominent feature of a Chilbi. However, there is almost always a good number of food stands, bar and booths selling all kinds of stuff. Mostly it's the local clubs and associations that set up and run the booths and make-shift restaurants since this is a great way to increase their annual budget.

Chilbi - Jens Bredehorn  /

When I think about Chilbi, I usually have this picture of warm weather, fair ground music and people crowding the streets in my head. Imagine the aire filled with chatter, laughter of children and the smell of Magenbrot or cotton candy.

This weekend, however, the usual Chilbi atmosphere was replaced by a rather Christmassy set up. On Saturday snow started falling all over Switzerland and temperatures dropped rapidly. Think about it, last weekend it was 20 C and sunny and people walked around in t-shirts. This weekend it was cloudy, snowing and people put on hats, gloves and snow boots.

Snow fall also had quite an impact on the Chilbi in Thalwil that I visited with some friends this weekend. Some of the rides weren't running (too dangerous in the snow I guess), streets were rather quite and empty and most booths looked like they didn't make much business that day. Instead, people crowded into the few tents and restaurants that offered hot drinks and heating.

Not that this was less enjoyable than the regular Chilbi experience but it simply felt like Christmas came two months early and we're already strolling through a Christmas market. The hot Gl├╝hwein (hot wine with spices) made the experience perfect!



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