Cultural Festivals & Events In Switzerland

There is no exaggeration to the fact that Switzerland is the most delightful place on the earth. Apart from its astonishing and jaw-dropping scenery lands it also has unique festivals. Switzerland is the home to people from three different continents, therefore Swiss culture is characterized by diversity and it reflects a wide range of traditional civilizations.

 

Switzerland’s cultural calendar is always filled with inimitable and amazing festivals. For tourists and civilians, an idyllic time to explore the small towns and big cities of Switzerland is when they celebrate Swiss history and folklore with extravagant festivals. There is no better time to discover the deeper idiosyncrasies of local Swiss traditions than during the burst of colorful festivals. Throw yourself into Swiss culture with this pick of top 9 Swiss festivals.

 

How many of these Swiss galas have you crossed off your list?

1. Montreux Jazz Festival

Photo credit: Olivier Bruchez via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Olivier Bruchez via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

Montreux jazz gala is the melody festival, which is celebrated in Switzerland, held yearly in the month of July at Geneva Lake. It was celebrated for the first time in 1967 at the Montreux casino and it lasted for three days. This is the largest melody festival in Europe and second in the world after the Montreal jazz festival in Canada. A wide range of competition is organized by the authority during the festival among which solo piano, Guitar, and voice are popular.

2. Hot-Air Balloon Festival

Photo credit: samuelnabi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: samuelnabi via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

International Hot-Air Balloon Festival was celebrated for the first time in 1979 at Chateau-d’OEx, in Switzerland. It takes place annually in January and lasts for nine days. It brings together pilots from some twenty countries. With almost one hundred warm air balloons taking benefit of the tremendous weather of the Alps in wintry weather, it attracts people from various countries for over two weekends with hot balloons of different sizes and shapes. There is a historic link behind arranging this festival at Chateau-d’OEx. The Breitling Orbiter – piloted with the aid of Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones – prompt for the primary tour of the area in a warm air balloon from this place.

3. International Snow Festival

 

Every year, in January the International Snow Festival takes place at Grindelwald, in Switzerland. It is one of the most fascinating and popular winter’s events held at Grindelwald on the natural ice-rink in the glacier village. Grindelwald is also an excellent choice for tasting some mouth-watering foods of Switzerland i-e lemongrass soup and homemade tomato and ricotta cheese ravioli.

4. Basel Carnival

Photo credit: florianziegler via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: florianziegler via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

About 200 carnivals take place throughout Switzerland but Basel carnival is the largest Swiss street party which is also known as Fasnacht. It takes place annually between February and March in Basel and lasts for about 72 hours from dirty Thursday to Ash Wednesday. During the carnival event, the contestant runs free in the streets and restaurants dominating old town in the Basel. And the fasnachtler dress up in a wide variety of costumes, including masks known as a Larve. The civilians of Basel called this festival die drey scheenschte which means the three most beautiful days.

5. Berchtold Day

 

It is a light-hearted, sociable day, celebrated by the Swiss civilians on 2nd of January after celebrating New Year. They celebrate this festival by meeting their friends in pubs and restaurants, folk dancing, singing and giving best wishes for New Year. The name of this holy day is derived from the verb ‘berchten’ which means “walking around, asking for food”. The history of Berchtold Day is quite interesting; most likely, this day is devoted to Berchtold, the legend of Zahringen. It is an Alemannic tradition, therefore it is usually only celebrated in areas that boast a predominantly Alemannic population.

6. Sechseläuten (Burning of Boog)

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Photo credit: martin_vmorris via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

This is a traditional spring festival celebrated by Swiss people of Zurich, on third Monday of April. Many of the streets in central Zurich will be shut to traffic to celebrate this day and turning into a festive mood. The way of celebrating this holiday is unique; they celebrate this festive, ringing bells and burning boogs, saying goodbye to winters and welcoming spring. Sechselauten is an amazing festival full of color, music, and cheerfulness; be a part of this festival and observe the Zurich folklore celebrating the end of winter and culminating in the burning of boog.

7. Swiss National Day

Photo credit: Pazit Polak via Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: Pazit Polak via Foter.com / CC BY

 

It is celebrated on 1st of August since 1891 exclusively within communities. The celebrations of Swiss National Day involves solemn phrases spoken by an outstanding public figure from political or cultural existence, followed by a concert or choir, gymnastic shows, and the network making a song the national anthem. Civilians employ a wide range of ways to celebrate this day i-e, cow riding, Swiss wrestling, and fireworks.

8. Cow Fighting

Photo credit: Fabien Agon via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Fabien Agon via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

This is an interesting event which takes place in Switzerland early in April. Cow fighting is also referred to as KUHKAMPFE, during which cow battles are organized to please the crowd. The cow that holds her own towards all warning parties and comes through the come across triumphant is proclaimed Queen Cow of the season. Topped with a flower garland among her horns and with the most important bell placing from her artistically design collar, the Queen cow, stated chief of the herd, walks at the top of the procession of animals that migrate yearly to summer season pasture within the mountains.

9. L’Escalade (Geneva)

Photo credit: Nouhailler via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Nouhailler via Foter.com / CC BY-SA

 

The civilians of Geneva celebrate L’Escalade festival to rejoice the defeat of the surprise attack by the Duke of Savoy in 1602. This incorporates a five-mile race through the medieval old metropolis the week earlier than the main party, while the main celebration includes a torchlight procession of more than 100 marchers in the historical uniform.

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