The tradition of “Chriesisturm” marks the start of the harvest season for Zug’s cherries.

“Chriesisturm” – Tradition in Zug

Children and adults run in pairs through the streets of Zug, carrying a long ladder.

June 25, 2018

This amusing-looking race harks back to an age-old tradition. The canton of Zug is renowned throughout Switzerland for its cherries, for nowhere else does this juicy fruit blossom and thrive so splendidly than here.

Already back in the 17th century, the “Chriesigloggä” – “cherry bell” – rang out to announce the start of the cherry harvest in the Allmend, at that time a public park with numerous cherry trees. When in the early summer the bell rang out for the first time at noon, the people of Zug knew that the cherries were now ripe and ready for picking. Armed with ladders and baskets, they would rush off to the Allmend to pick the sweetest and most luscious fruits. Incidentally, picking before the bell sounded was strictly forbidden and perpetrators were punished.

The custom fell into oblivion in the 20th century, possibly due to the decline in the population of cherry trees. In 2009, however, the tradition of “Chriesisturm” was revived, and this spectacular race through Zug’s Old Town once again celebrates the start of the cherry-picking season.


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