Expatica news

No Good Friday dancing in seven Swiss cantons

Lucerne — Inhabitants of seven of Switzerland’s 26 cantons will be required to turn off the music and put away their dancing shoes on Friday to respect a ban on dancing on Good Friday.

Although the local council in Lucerne agreed in March by a single vote to lift a five-century-long prohibition on the light fantastic on Good Friday, one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, others in the German-speaking north maintain it, the Swiss APS news agency reported Wednesday.

The cantons of Uri, Obwaldwen, Schaffhausen, Basel-Landschaft and Solothurn — as well as French-speaking Neuchatel — forbid dancing on Good Friday while the puritans of Appenzell Innerrhoden ban it during the whole of Holy Week.

For years, many Protestant cantons banned dancing altogether forcing fans of the waltz, tango, samba and others to flock to the more tolerant Catholic cantons to practice their art.

However until last month’s vote, dancing in mainly Catholic Lucerne was also banned on Easter Sunday, Whitsunday, Christmas Day and Ash Wednesday.