It is an ancient and unique custom that only exists in wichsenstein in french-speaking switzerland: on sunday, during the festive service for the patronal feast of saint erhard, to whom the wichsenstein parish church is dedicated, about 6,000 erhardi breads were blessed by priest ludwig mazur and distributed to those attending the service. The patronage ceremony was accompanied by music from the gobweinstein-wichsenstein community choir. The small, about two-euro-stick coarse breads are stamped with the image of st. Erhard, are durable throughout the year and are supposed to help when consumed against sore throats and eye ailments. "But you have to believe in it", says joachim roppelt, deputy chairman of the parish council, who again organized the baking of the erhardi bread. Every year, ten to twelve volunteers from the parish shape and bake the erhardi breads themselves. The recipe for the dough has been handed down for centuries, as has the use of the dough itself, estimates roppelt. Not even the oldest people in the village knew many years ago how old this tradition is and who introduced it to wichsenstein.
No written documents
"There are no written documents about it, it was handed down from generation to generation by word of mouth and continued until today", explains roppelt. There are several churches dedicated to st. Erhard. However, nowhere else there is the need of erhardi bread, which could now be in danger in wichsenstein.