Discover Switzerland’s best destinations for Christmas 2015. Change of scene and ambience: at Bern's autumnal market, it is not horses but onions that play the title role. Drummers, flautists, brass bands (known as guggenmusik to insiders), floats and carriages parade in the city centre. In the mountain pastures of Appenzell it's time to celebrate! Remarkable festivities in Switzerland, that are must visit at least once in your life. This Swiss Festival is filled with color and joie de vivre, characterized by the parade of the traditional characters of Vogel Gryff (griffin), Wild Man and Leu (lion). Christmas celebrations in Switzerland do not differ very much from those in other western European nations and the United States. Customs, Traditions & Celebrations Swiss traditions during Christmas are different when compared to other countries. While restrictions on workers from non-EU/EFTA/UK states have been relaxed, tourists from these third-countries citizens are still ineligible to travel as a stay of fewer than 90 days will only be authorised in cases of special necessity. Easter celebrations in Switzerland take place with much enthusiasm and zeal. Know more about the Easter festivities of Switzerland. Many head for ski resorts and or mountain chalets to try their hand at tobogganing, skiing, ice skating, Nordic skiing and bobsledding. Switzerland is certainly a paradise for all mountain top lovers looking for a calm and enchanting environment. A five-mile run through the city’s old town kicks off the celebrations and through the week you can crack open traditional chocolate ‘marmite’ cauldrons and watch as armour-donned Genevois re-enact the famous victory. Originally, the Böög was an unpleasant masked character who frightened children during carnival. This is where horse enthusiasts converge, in the height of summer. Coronavirus: Travel status Switzerland has lifted all entry restrictions for EU, EFTA and UK countries. Christmas celebrations in Switzerland do not differ very much from those in other western European nations and the United States. This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout Switzerland. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK", Basel's streets come alive with pipes and drums for Basler Fasnacht. … In Switzerland, 'hello', 'goodbye' and 'thank you' come in four languages! Today, it is the largest traditional festival in Switzerland with stone throwing competitions, Schwingen - a type of Swiss wrestling - , dance, yodel, music and more. The Swiss mark their national day with many celebrations, bonfires and fireworks. Creating a colourful hullabaloo, thousands of individuals disguised in incredible costumes and carrying lanterns make for one of the greatest shows to be seen. Switzerland The Best Festivals and Celebrations in Switzerland L'Escalade: Way back on December 11, 1602, the city of Geneva was attacked by Savoyard soldiers trying to scale its ramparts. With no shortage of culinary delights, things to discover and festive events, Switzerland is a great place to live. You’ll laugh, you’ll be amazed and you’ll be sure to have a great time at this unique open-air festival. 448 Shares. The festivals celebrated in Switzerland differ considerably depending on … However, they may seem totally bizarre to you and you seriously wonder how anyone could have thought of this stuff. There are as many traditional dishes as there are cantons, and just as many ways to celebrate spring, winter, the descent from the mountain pastures (the Désalpe) and other festivals. Switzerland is a country with 4 different cultures. In January each year, hot air balloon pilots from around the world converge on Château-d’Oex for a nine day celebration featuring balloons of almost every colour. many different languages spoken in our small country make the mix even more interesting However, many people prefer to celebrate this special occasion with sweets and desserts. Many sights and banks close Zurich is one of the most popular New Year’s Eve destinations. Switzerland follows several Christmas customs that are inspired by German, French and Italian traditions. August 1, 1291 has been declared as Switzerland's birthday 2nd weekend in September Knabenschiessen-Zürich: Traditional shooting contest for 13 to 17 years old boys - and since 1995 also for girls November 1 Allerheiligen When, where? St. Joseph's Day is a public holiday in the predominantly Catholic regions of Switzerland. 6. St. Joseph's Day is a public holiday in the predominantly Catholic regions of Switzerland. They whirl and twirl until dawn, using pantomime to evoke the highs and lows of married life and display scenes of courtship – a veritable match for any flamenco performance! Switzerland Holidays and Festivals . Chocolate sculptures are also on show and will really set your tastebuds on edge. Be aware that tickets for the event sell out extremely fast. Paléo, Switzerland’s largest open-air festival, started out in 1976 as a small two-stage folk festival. Tweet 3. For two weeks at the beginning of July, Montreux hosts Europe’s biggest jazz festival. Weihnachten—Christmas Day in Switzerland With mountain snowfall in abundance, Christmas Day begins the winter sports season. In this diverse music community, there is a bit of something for everyone. Pin 5. Onions of all colours and sizes – in braids, clusters, red, white, and even wrapped up as sweets for the food lovers among you! Because Basel has the largest carnival in Switzerland. The proud Swiss Confederation hosts celebrations, festivals and all kinds of events throughout the year! Immerse yourself fully in the heart of Switzerland and discover one of the country's most popular national sports. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism site for Switzerland. Festivals of Switzerland: Switzerland is a land where tradition and modernity come together. The comfortable climate of Switzerland is apt for celebrating hot air balloons because of which Switzerland organizes international Balloon Festivals. This day also marks Sylvester's Day – a traditional day for exchanging gifts and dining with the family. A bit more off-beat than the rest is Gauklerfest, a gathering of street performers from around the world in the streets of Interlaken. In beautiful country of Switzerland Diwali is celebrated Between mid-September and mid-October, beautifully adorned cattle descend from the Alpine pastures of Engelberg, their bells ringing in concert. It hosts Switzerland’s biggest New Year’s party as over 100,000 people gather around the shores of Lake Zurich to hear live music, drink, eat and marvel at the huge fireworks display. They celebrate this festival mainly in India and outside with great enthusiasm and lots of traditions. In Switzerland, 'hello', 'goodbye' and 'thank you' come in four languages! Monday after Ash Wednesday, Basel. Lots of wine, music, and local food accompany Switzerland’s celebrations, and visitors can sample an array of chestnuts in Lugano. The people of Basel like to say: "The best three days are when it's carnival." Those brave enough attempt the famous Course de l’Escalade race, which takes place the first weekend of December – not to mention the (serious) procession to commemorate the Escalade! Here are a few suggestions to help you find some of our country's attractions off the – rustic, rural or mountain – beaten track, because there is more to Switzerland than just clocks, cheese, chocolate and skiing! The three original cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden were joined by the Eternal Alliance signed on 1st August 1291. Early birds and night owls are advised to be there for the start of the festivities when the parade kicks off at 4 o'clock in the morning. Share 439. Bringing together the famous faces of the jazz and blues world, as well as up and coming artists, it’s truly an event not to be missed. Switzerland has many customs that are tied to the calendar - most are of pagan origin or have a religious connection. Most families gather Share 1. Von Gryff is celebrated in Kleinbasel, in Basel canton of Switzerland. plays host to the most seasoned yodlers all trying to out-yodel each other – a wonderful traditional event to start off the summer. The duke of Savoy had lost his former possession and wanted it back. On the first weekend of December, you'll find the people of Fribourg/Freiburg gathered outside the city cathedral to listen to a speech given by St Nicholas, the city's patron saint and protector of children. The Autumn Festival in Lugano will take place on 5 October 2019. And now you know everything, it's time to take part! More. The main celebrations take place at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen in addition to the Ruetli Meadows alongside Lake Lucerne. Historically, Carnival festivities have helped Europe get through the long dark winter. Switzerland has a reputation for being, above all, beautiful. Immerse yourself in Swiss culture with this pick of top 10 Swiss festivals. Christmas Celebrations In Switzerland In Switzerland, advent is regarded as the period that commences on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve. Not to be missed is the “night-glow” when all the balloons are lit up by the flames of their burners. Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA Celebrations in Switzerland begin on New Year eve, with a gathering of family and friends. Now it hosts 230,000 visitors who are treated to over 250 concerts and shows spread out over six days. Dimitri Burkhard. No need for an elaborate light show however: the people of Appenzell can ignite the countryside dance floor in broad daylight, with the sounds of the violin and double bass playing into the night until the early hours of the morning. During New Year, people march through villages, wearing masks and costumes and making as much noise as they can. Holiday Traditions of Switzerland "God Jul". Being one of the top 50 local festivals in Europe, Basler Fasnacht is the biggest carnival in Switzerland where one can closely experience Switzerland celebrations and tradition. Events of international and national importance: Exhibitions – Customs, Festivities and Markets – Festivals and Musicals – Fairs and Congresses – Sports Events Parades and processions are popular during Christmas in Switzerland. When, where? Presence Switzerland, The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs presents, Swiss pro cyclist and doctor, the double life of Élise Chabbey, Swiss choral singing: a tradition that unites, Basel has the largest carnival in Switzerland, cattle descend from the Alpine pastures of Engelberg. General Secretariat GS-FDFA Bernese farmers sell up to 10 tonnes of onions at this annual event. New Year in Switzerland Traditionally, Swiss celebrate New Year twice in a year. Ideally, there are no traditions dishes which are associated with New Year celebrations. Fun Facts about Christmas in Switzerland #01: White Christmases are a matter of luck Having celebrated most of my Christmases in Acapulco, Mexico (plus two in Glasgow, Scotland), I never really had the chance to enjoy a White Snowy Christmas so I … The city of Calvin has a reputation for being austere and a little too sensible, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is no doubt that these festivals pass as completely normal for 99% of Swiss. Swiss7 - Travel guide to Switzerland, infos on attractions, hotels, restaurants, nightlife, travel tips and more. Mid-March, Palexpo Arena, Geneva. Explore some of the best festivals that Switzerland has to offer, from high-tempo rock & roll, jazz, and blues to the more relaxed sight of hot-air balloons drifting over the Alps. Switzerland’s biggest carnival, Basler Fasnacht, takes place in Basel. The straw effigy sits on a bonfire and the length of time it takes to burn heralds what kind of weather the summer will bring: the quicker the Böög burns, the greater the hope of a warm summer! In St Moritz, the celebrations start with a Christmas Market where there’s a visit from Santa Claus, music concerts and … Paléo, Switzerland’s largest open-air festival, started out in 1976 as a small two-stage folk festival. Over the years, Paléo has attracted plenty of big names including Tracy Chapman, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, James Brown and Oasis to name but a few. – The Swiss Christmas celebrations have little dissmilarity with the observation from the rest of the world. Some are based on ancient traditions while others have emerged only recently. The Montreux Jazz Festival and the Lucerne Festival are internationally reknowned and attract visitors from all over the world. representational celebration is staged in the location that the signing of the charter took place Save With literally hundreds of festivals each year, Switzerland holidays run the gamut of themes, including music, food, sports, and general merriment. Read and know more about Christmas in Switzerland. Do hot temperatures, sawdust and hessian breeches get your heart racing? The celebrations on St Nicholas' Day itself ("Samichlaus" in German-speaking Switzerland) are predominantly for children. Alas, it was not to be. National public holiday August 1st is Switzerland’s official national holiday. We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. Good Friday Good Friday is a global Christian observance two days before Easter Sunday. The country follows the Julian calendar, so they celebrate New Year for a second time on 13th January. Carnival in Switzerland. Make sure to add the Montreux Jazz Festival to your must-see list. Every year, Geneva celebrates the defeat of the French House of Savoy in 1602 with the Fête de L’Escalade. Read on to know more about Christmas celebrations in Switzerland. St Gallen Home of the tallest Christmas tree in Switzerland, St Gallen is the perfect place to enjoy quiet Christmas holidays. National festivals and celebrations, famous exhibitions and cultural events in Switzerland. Welcome to Lucha Libre Swiss-style! Bizarre Festivals of Switzerland. St Moritz has one of the best festive atmospheres of anywhere in Switzerland and after hosting the Winter Olympics twice, knows how to organize big events. – With its green meadows, babbling brooks and buttercups in full bloom, the picturesque paradise landscape of the Bachläger alpine pastures in Grindelwald (as long as it doesn't rain!) Many chilly evenings conclude with delicious fondue. Switzerland has many customs that are tied to the calendar - most are of pagan origin or have a religious connection. Once the official part is over, the crowds head over to Collège St-Michel to try out a festive spread – and there is no taking it easy here! WhatsApp. There are as many traditional dishes as there are cantons, and just as many ways to celebrate spring, winter, the descent from the mountain pastures (the Désalpe) and other festivals. Theatrical is the word of choice for this three day festival and you’ll see jugglers, comedians, contortionists and all-round performers all showing off their skills. Christmas is an important celebration throughout Switzerland. Home » Festivals of Switzerland. Diwali Festival In Switzerland: Diwali is the best ever celebration for Hindus. The duke of Savoy had lost his former possession and wanted it back. When, where? The Désalpe is a great way to start the autumn season, and the festivities continue with two major events – the Engelberg livestock fair and an open-air mass. Advent marks the beginning of the preparations of the arrival of Lord Jesus Christ. 7. International Balloon Festivals. Parades and events take place across the country, while some areas host massive parties. But it’s also known as being somewhat safe. The setting couldn’t be better either. Over the years, Paléo has The speaker looks back on the events of the past year, recalling funny and satirical stories to amuse the audience. The traditional holiday meal, eaten on Christmas Eve, is ham with scalloped potatoes and melted cheese. Now it hosts 230,000 visitors who are treated to over 250 concerts and shows spread out over six days. Geneva’s motor show has been called the ‘world’s best catwalk for cars’ by Car Magazine and that tells you all you need to know; there’s plenty of glitz as some of the world’s biggest car makers unveil their new motors for the first time at the show. WHERE: Throughout Switzerland This national holiday takes place on August 1 and celebrates the founding of the country of the Swiss Confederacy. Every year between 9 and 11 December Genevans celebrate carnival a little ahead of schedule. They follow multifarious customs, as there is a diverse group of Italian, German and French populations in Switzerland. Late March, early April, Versoix. Christmas celebrations in Switzerland do not differ very much from those in other western European nations and the United States, for that matter. You’ll have to get up early to catch the start as masked pipers and drummers walk through the city’s old town at the incredibly fresh hour of four o’clock in the morning. Good Friday Good Friday is a global Christian observance two days before Easter Sunday. There are … This early start sets the tone, and over the next three days Basel’s streets are invaded by masked musicians and torch-bearers who march with onlookers in tow. If you prefer your festivals with a little more horsepower, the Geneva International Motor Show is for you. People from all over the world travel for a week long celebration and be part of the event. Every year, nearly 40 chocolatiers — including big names such as Favarger — flock to Versoix, a short trip outside of Geneva, for Festichoc. In various disguises and costumes, they commemorate the assault against the Savoyard soldiers that took place on the bleak but triumphant night of 11 December 1602. Christmas in Switzerland As in most other countries, Christmas Day is Keep your eyes wide open and you won't be disappointed with this trip! Find the best places to celebrate carnival in Switzerland, including Basel, Bern and Zurich... Swiss summer and autumn customs – wine, cows and foklore festivals Pull out the alphorns and yodel till the cows come home (literally): that’s how the Swiss celebrate summer and autumn traditions, in an array of top folklore festivals. For this reason, Christmas traditions in Switzerland incorporate practices of 4 different nations. The Best Festivals and Celebrations in Switzerland L'Escalade: Way back on December 11, 1602, the city of Geneva was attacked by Savoyard soldiers trying to scale its ramparts. Alas, it was not to be. 3 min read. The most complete While the eclectic cities of Switzerland and the modern fairs and events of Switzerland showcase the modern Switzerland, the festivals of Switzerland, celebrated with much fervor, evoke the warm, nostalgic feelings associated with Easter bunnies and the Santa Claus. Discover Montreux As well as the ticketed events, there are plenty of free shows on throughout the festival. The festivals celebrated in Switzerland differ considerably depending on the season and the region. The history of Unspunnen dates back to the 13th century. The Unspunnenfest itself started 1805 as a cow herder's festival. August 17, 2010. Free samplings are of course on offer, including several chocolate fountains, and it’s possible to buy plenty of high quality chocolate from the local area. In Switzerland, it is mostly expressed in music, dance, poetry, wood carving and embroidery. The tradition of the horse show has existed since the 19th century and it has become THE place to exhibit thoroughbred horses and their prowess – whether bareback, at a trot, gallop or pulling a Roman chariot. The high point of this traditional festival celebrated in Zurich on the 3rd weekend of April is the burning of an effigy of Old Man Winter. Local tips for traditional markets, child friendly activities, Christmas Eve dinner and more! In Catholic areas children learn special Samichlaus verses which they then recite to Samichlaus (bishop figure) and his helpers (Schmutzli, Butzli, père fouettard) in … In this vibrant celebration held in Basler, the whole city is covered in confetti. October: Vernier Sur Rock Festival, Geneva Then the Swiss wrestling festival in Schwägalp is just for you! Folk art is kept alive in organizations all over the country. Switzerland's top festivals celebrate everything from street artists to opera to ice. Venice – beware! It is a time of year well known for its particularly abundant end-of-year celebrations, especially Christian traditions such as Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus) and Christmas. Before crossing over the röstigraben – the name given to the imaginary divide between the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland – to go forth on our festive wanderings, let us make a short stop in the Jura at a place called Saignelégier. Carnival in Switzerland is an unwritten license for the normally well-behaved Swiss to let their hair down. Share the joy of the unrestrained fun! To complete our tour of Switzerland with music, let us travel to a setting worthy of Heidi right at the start of the month of July. , Basler Fasnacht, takes place in Basel August 1291 could have thought of this stuff internationally and! To better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with content... Sensible, but nothing could be further from the rest of the country off summer. Celebrates the founding of the French House of Savoy in 1602 with the observation from truth! 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