A tinted fountain in Zurich.

A tinted fountain in Zurich. (Photo: Aktivistin.ch/Twitter)

It’s that time of the month. Yesterday morning, those making their way to work and school in Zurich were greeted by a strange sight—the fountains decorating their commute had been dyed a bloody red.

A group called “Aktivistin.ch” filled thirteen city fountains with red food coloring between 5:30 and 6:30 yesterday morning, the Local reports. They did it to raise awareness of issues surrounding menstruation—and secondarily, presumably, because it’s fun to dump food coloring in fountains.

When asked about the protest, spokeswoman Carmen Schoder cited the “tampon tax”—while most daily-use items are taxed at 2.5% in Switzerland, menstrual products are subject to the 8% tax usually applied to “luxury items.” The same is true in many countries, and similar protests have proliferated in recent years—although very little has changed legislatively as a result.

But she also spoke about society’s generally squeamish attitude towards Aunt Flo, and how it harms individuals. “Many people still see menstruation as something shameful,” she said. Protesters propped up encouraging signs alongside the fountains: “#happytobleed” and “if you bleed and you know it CLAP YOUR HANDS!!!”

Although fountains can’t clap, they seemed fairly enthusiastic about their new condition, spraying jauntily as ever, mist tinted pink in the morning sun.

Every day, we track down a fleeting wonder—something amazing that’s only happening right now. Have a tip for us? Tell us about it! Send your temporary miracles to cara@atlasobscura.com.