Meitlisonntig, or Girls' Sunday, is a three-day period in Fahrwangen and Meisterschwanden during which the women rule over the men. The custom dates back to the Battle of Villmergen in 1712, in which women made a successful contribution to the fighting effort. In return they were granted three days in command. Female drummers announce the start of the rule on the Thursday, drumming and walking through the streets. The Meitlisonntig associations hold a general assembly in each of the two villages, where about 100 women gather in elegant period dress. In groups they then set out to hunt down men, each group carrying a net made of hemp ropes. As a sign of the shift in power, the men are offered a glass of wine and the women ask the men to dance. Captured men are carried to the next restaurant, where they are given the chance to buy back their freedom. On the Sunday groups of masked women provide for entertainment in local restaurants, again asking the men to dance. Every four years there is a large procession which starts in Fahrwangen and makes its way to Meisterschwanden. The custom is brought to a close when a large ring of plaited bread (diameter of one metre and a half) is shared out to the men, symbolising the return of power to them. The culmination of the custom is the midnight polonaise in the restaurants of the villages.
Meitlisonntig (PDF, 427 kB, 04.06.2018)Ausführliche Beschreibung
Yvonne Fischer: Meitlisonntags-Brauch Fahrwangen und Meisterschwanden um den 2. Sonntag im Januar. In: Heimatkunde aus dem Seetal 74. Ed. Historische Vereinigung Seetal. Seengen, 2001, p. 17-28
Eduard Hoffmann-Krayer: Feste und Bräuche des Schweizervolkes. Zürich, 1940
Jürg Stüssi: Zum Meitlisonntag von Fahrwangen und Meisterschwanden. In: MFD-Zeitung. Offizielles Organ des Schweizerischen Verbandes der Angehörigen des MFD 47-48. Biel, 1987-1988