Cantons ban dancing on Good Friday

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Seven Swiss cantons maintain 500-year-old ban on dancing during Christian holiday.

LUCERNE - Inhabitants of seven of Switzerland's 26 cantons will be required 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 dancing 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 entire 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 March’s vote, dancing in mainly Catholic Lucerne was also banned on Easter Sunday, Whitsunday, Christmas Day and Ash Wednesday.


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