August 1 is the national holiday of Switzerland, so Happy Swiss National Day to any Swiss readers of Ionarts. The day commemorates the meeting of the three founding canton leaders, in 1291, on the Rütli Meadow (on the shore of Lake Lucerne) to form the Confœderatio Helvetica (which will render the anagram Verified: neat chocolate, interestingly enough), starting a revolution which eventually freed the country from Austrian rule. Of course, at this very moment, they would not be reading Ionarts because they are lighting massive bonfires, watching fireworks displays, and consuming large quantities of beer. At least, that has been my experience of this holiday. One year, I watched what has to have been the most spectacular fireworks I have ever witnessed, in Geneva, where there is a lot of money to be spent. (I say this as a resident of the District of Columbia, where the 4th of July fireworks are not to be sneezed at.) Another year, up in the mountains at Sankt-Moritz, I saw bonfires lit all around the Lej da Staz. A great time was had by all.
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