Monday, March 31, 2008

White Sunday

The Sunday following Easter Sunday is known as White Sunday, and is the day of first communion for many Catholic kids across Switzerland. First communion is a big deal. The second-graders get dressed up in the white robes and paraded through town beforehand, then are at the front of the church during the service, and afterwards the families do individually a fancy lunch in some restaurant in town, together with the godmother and godfather of the child, and sometimes other relatives.

In the case of Mathias, Martin's nephew who had his first communion yesterday, the entire family (aunts, uncles, grandparents) attended. May be I should specify that the entire family attended the lunch. Emily and I made it through about half hour of service before she started making too much noise. Martin with Sonja lasted about five minutes longer. And Mathias's aunt Regula was at work, but when she ended she did join for the lunch. I still can't believe her schedule (she is a doctor who works in a hospital): once or twice a week she has to work the whole day. I.e. 24 hours. So this weekend it was from about 8am Saturday to 11am Sunday. 27 hours at a stretch. Crazy crazy schedule. And apparently that is the norm. How can they expect doctors to make rational decisions after they have been awake for more than 16/20/24 hours? I was often wiped out after a regular 8 hour day, let alone 16 or more hours. Anyways...

(Most pictures were taken by Mathias's brother Lukas)
Parading through town:

During the service:

And then it's time to have some fun for both the kids:

and the adults - see all the wine glasses on the table behind this friend of Mathias's. Free white wine for all, OJ for the kids.

And first communion is also time to take a lot of pictures. One with your godmother:

...and your godfather...

...and your friends...

...and your girlfriend (whatever definition of girlfriend applies in second grade). (Maja)

According to Martin, Mathias's mom Christine fell off her bike the day before her first communion, so apparently in all the pictures from that big day she has a huge bruise on her face.

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