Swiss Festivals year round!

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Festivals in Switzerland

Our customs are as diverse as the Swiss themselves. The fact that we originate from different cultures, and speak different languages makes the festivals we celebrate even more interesting. Valleys that were cut off in winter from the rest of Switzerland developed unique traditions that are alive to this day. Our various customs and folk traditions celebrate our rich visual and acoustic heritage. In our fast-paced world, our culture survives only when celebrated!

Festivals in Switzerland © Les Médiévales Saint Ursanne

And celebrate we do. Heck, we even celebrate when nobody else cares except the folks in our own town. Festivals range from colourful folk spectacles to medieval celebrations, from weird sport events to sophisticated entertainment in the arts.

There's probably not a weekend that goes by without a fair, a festival, or a concert. The sheer number of our cultural celebrations is astonishing and the variety is remarkable. In fact, it would be impossible to list each and every event we celebrate in our small alpine nation.

The festivals listed below are some of the most interesting Swiss celebrations that take place throughout the year. But - wherever you stay or pass through, check in with the local tourist office to see what's going on. Sometimes, the smallest festival, only celebrated in that particular town or village, tells you more about our culture than the largest gathering can do.

Festivals in Switzerland Year-round

January | February | March | April | May | June | July |
August | September | October | November | December


Harder Potschete Parade, Interlaken West (BE)
Harder "Potschen" (Masks) have a long tradition in Interlaken. The Potschen parade is a yearly event that always takes place on January 2nd. Start at 1.30pm on the Market Square.

11. - 18.01. 2014
Witches Downhill Race, Bellalp/Blatten (VS)
Switzerland's craziest downhill race, that culminates into the witches' party night with life music.

Schlittata Trophy in Savognin (GR)
Toboggan/sledge race. Not the fastest will win but the one with the most original costume and old-fashioned sledge.

13.01.2014 (and 31.12.2014)
Silvesterchlausen, Urnäsch, Herisau, Hundwil, Stein, Waldstatt, Schwellbrunn, und Schönengrund (AR)
Celebrated December 31 and January 13 (exception 2013; it will be held January 12th), the old New Years Eve. Colourful groups of masks wander from house to house, where they ring their bells, yodel and wish each family per handshake a prosperous and happy new year.

13.01.2013 (2014 date will be announced later)
Schlitteta St. Moritz, Engadin (GR)
This is an old tradition celebrated in many villages in Graubünden, though not as elaborate as in St. Moritz and Pontresina. Here, a couple in their best finery is carried through the winter landscape on a horse-drawn sleigh. Village festival atmosphere. For questions: email
T +41 81 828 88 03

Vogel Gryff, Basel (BS)
A spectacle with historic significance held in Kleinbasel (district in the city of Basel). The heraldic figure Vogel Gryff parades on the right bank of the Rhine River.
Start at 10:30 am when the Vogel Gryff floats dancing to drum rhythms and gun salutes on a raft down the River Rhine.
Approximately at noon: Dance of the figures before "Käppeljoch" and on the Middle Rhine Bridge.
At 1 pm the groups meet for lunch at the Basel fair ground (Basler Messe)

25. January - 2. February, 2014
International Balloon Festival in Château'd'Oex (FR)

27.12.2013 - 30.03.2014
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz (GR)
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

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Swiss Carnival celebrations

The Swiss Carnival festivities (Fasnacht) take place anywhere from end of January to May.
Here's a list of the most impressive carnivals.

Horn-sled Swiss championship and Grisons Toboggan championship in Breil/Brigels (GR)
Starting at 9am. Results at 6pm. Shuttle bus transportation between Tödi Parking in Brigels and the race area Artugl/Sogn Giacun.

09. / 16. / 23.02.2014
White Turf St. Moritz (GR)
International Horse race on ice!

08. - 09.02.2014
Horn Sledge Race - Hornschlittenrennen in Braunwald (GL)
Approx. 88 km (55 miles) from Zürich and 18 km (11 miles) from Glarus

Horn Sledge Race in Fideris (GR)
Professional toboggan race 1pm; toboggan race open to the public 1.30pm.
Fideris is situated between Landquart and Klosters/Davos - approx. 24 km (14.9 mi) from Landquart, and 130 km (80,7 mi) from Zürich.

Large Horn Sledge Race in Wildhaus, Toggenburg(SG)
This is truly a fun day out for the whole family. Start at 11am in Wildhaus and it lasts all day. Announcement of the winners: 6pm, followed by a party with DJ and Charli's Party Band.

Traditional Horn Sledge Race - Hornschlittenrennen in Adelboden (BE)

Tschäggättä parade in Blatten and carnival procession in Wiler, Lötschental (VS)
The legend of the Tschäggättä is uniquely celebrated in the Lötschental. Clad in fur and elaborate masks, the creatures sneak through the village streets throughout the week.

27.12.2013 - 30.03.2014
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

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March through September (each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow Fighting in different towns and villages in the Canton of Valais (VS)

01.03. Every Year
Chalandamarz (GR)
Children ring enormous cow bells to drive out the evil spirits. An outdoor party of whip-cracking, singing, and good food in Guarda, Pontresina, Silvaplana, Samedan, Scuol, Zuoz, La Punt, Bergün-Filisur, Lenzerheide, Tiefencastel, Poschiavo (Pupocc da marz)

Horn Sledge Race - Hornschlittenrennen in Saas Fee (VS) Just for fun!

Engadine Ski Marathon, Maloja (GR)
A real crowd gatherer (approx. 12,000 participants). Major cross-country skiing marathon between event Maloja and S-chanf.

Fuchstival Grüsch-Danusa (Foxfestival)
A snow festival for young and old. Pop and rock with life bands in the family ski and snow board arena Danusa.

22.03.2014(Weather permitting)
Verbier Xtreme, Verbier (VS)
Daredevil off-piste freerider snowboard competition. The final stop for the Free Ride World Tour.

27. March - 03. April, 2014
Basel World - The World Watch and Jewelry Show, Basel (BS)

Until 30.03.2014
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz (GR)
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

End of March - Mid May (every year)
Tulip Festival in Morges (VD)

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April Cow Fighting Events(each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow Fights in the Canton of Valais.

Näfelser Fahrt, Näfels (GL)
The people of Glarus commemorate their victory over the Hapsburg's in 1388 with a colourful historic procession. This custom is celebrated since 1389.

09. - 13.04.2014
Künstlerbörse / Swiss artists’ exchange, Thun (BE)
All day entertainment (10am to 11pm). Over 300 Swiss and international artists show their new program. From a-cappella to comedy and puppet shows, from break dance to hipp hopp, jazz, and salon music to dance theater, including the Chansonade (11./12/04.2014). Multiple platforms in and around Kultur and Kongresszentrum Thun, Seestrasse 68.

16. - 18.04.2014
Easter procession, Mendrisio (TI)
One of the best!

18.04.2014 (Every year on good Friday)
Les Pleureuses, Romont (FR)

Frühjahrsschwinget, Ibach (SZ)
The Swiss version of Sumo wrestling - well, kind of :) - More events on different locations listed on the same page.

27.04.2014 (every second year, always on Sunday after Easter Sunday)
Eierleset, Effingen (AG)
Easter Egg fun born out of the age-old tradition of celebrating spring each year.

27. - 28.04.2014 (3rd Monday in April - yearly event)
Sechseläuten (Burning of the Böögg), Zürich (ZH)
Ancient spring custom of chasing away winter by burning the Böögg - a "disguised, masked man" - sitting on a huge stack of wood. The procession of the guilds (Zug der Zünfte) sets off the festivities at 6:00 pm on April 28, 2014 with a parade through the Bahnhofstrasse and Limmatquai to the Sechseläuteplatz (Bellevue).
Children's parade April 27, 2014, starting at 2.30 pm at the Bürkliplatz.

Last Sunday in April (yearly event)
Open Air Voting, Appenzell Innerrhoden (AI)

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May Cow Fighting Events(each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow Fights in the Canton of Valais.

01.05. at Midnight (30. April/1.May)
Maisingen, Lindenhof in Zürich (ZH)

03. - 05.05.2013
PrättIGA in Grüsch (GR)
Mingle with the locals. Over 90 exhibitors show their products. Sample local specialties. Frühschoppen (pre lunch folk music concert) on Sunday morning. Lot's of entertainment for children, especially on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Grown ups dance on Friday and Saturday night to folk and "Alpenrock" till morning dawns.
Eishalle (Ice skating arena). Grüsch lies at the entrance to the Prättigau Valley (between Landquart and Klosters).

Epesses nouveau en fête - Lavaux Wine Fest, Epesses (VD)
Wine testing sessions, winegrower's lunch with saucisson vaudois (special sausage). Wine testing itself is free (you must be 18 years of age). All day activities from helicopter round trips over the vineyards to a ride on the Lavaux Express through the vineyards, filling up your own wine bottles, Uncle Paul's Fondue and workshops. Each of this actives are separately priced but there's also a package available that includes testing as much wine as you want, typical lunch winegrower's lunch, 1 "Pot Vaudois", cheese for desert and a wine glass as a souvenir.

04.05.2014 (always on the first Sunday in May)
Open Air Voting in Glarus (GL)

04.05.2014 (always on the first Sunday in May)
Maibär Festival, Bad Ragaz (SG)
Chasing away winter and welcoming spring. 1 pm on the main city square.

Cheese Festival, Gruyères (FR)
A market festival on the cobbled main street in the medieval castle town of Gruyères.

Second Sunday in May
Crowning of the King and Queen in Begnins (VD)
During the so-called May-Day, entirely reserved for children. Crowning of the May Queen and May King on Sunday morning, followed by a procession in the afternoon.

11.05.2014 Second Sunday in May (Mothers Day) (eventual May 18, depending on weather)
Mammoth Soapbox Competition (Flossrennen), River of Sitter and Thur, Degenau, Bischoffszell to Kradolf-Schönenberg
If the weather does not cooperate, it could take place one week later.

17. - 20.05.2013
International Street Artists Festival - Festival Artisti di Strada in Ascona (TI)

17. - 20.05.2014
YOUNG STAGE - International Circus Festival Basel (BS)
The best young professional artists meet in Basel.

18. - 19.05.2013
Caves Ouvertes Vaudoises, Aigle (VD)
Approx. 300 wineries open their doors for visitors. Saturday/Sunday 10am - 7pm; Cost of the pass: CHF 15.00. A bus (fair included in the pass) will bring you from winery to winery. Self-guided tour.

23. - 24.05.2014
Prätti-Ziller in Seewis (GR)
Largest folk music event in Graubünden, a cross-border festival shared by two beautiful valleys - Prättigau in Graubünden and Zillertal in Austria.
Fest arena in Seewis (above Grüsch), a small village perched on a sonny slope with gorgeous views over the valley. This is a very popular event amongst the natives, so be prepared for a crowd :)
Approx. 10 km (6.2 mi) from Landquart toward Klosters - Davos.

Ascension Day procession on foot and horseback in Beromünster (LU)
A religious celebration that starts early in the morning. Costumed riders on horseback circle a field, followed by a large group of spectators.

End of May until Beginning of June 2015 (every two years)
Wildwuchs, (Festival of the Arts) Basel (BS)
Theater, music, dance, film, paintings, photography… a pretty wild event!

May 2015 (every 3 years)
Wyberschiesset in Escholzmatt and/or Schüpfheim, Entlebuch (BE)
A shooting competition (in traditional costumes) for women of all ages living in the Entlebuch region.

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June Cow Fighting Events(each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow fights in the Canton of Valais.

14.06.2014 (yearly event, second Saturday in June)
Gotthelf-Märit (historic farm market), Sumiswald (BE)
150 stalls. Demonstration of almost forgotten artisanry, local music and food.

Art Basel (Basel)

19.06.2014 (Second Thursday after Pentecost)
Corpus Christi procession in Düdingen (FR)
It is celebrated throughout the catholic regions, but in Düdingen, this day is especially colourful with girls wearing rare traditional costumes.

19.06.2014 (Fronleichnam - Thursday, ten days after Whit sun)
Our Lord's Day Ceremonial Procession (Fronleichnam) in Appezell Innerrhoden (AI) Women in their traditional and very elaborate costumes and headdress's, most of them handed down from generation to generation.

22. - 22.06.2014
Rose fest, Hausen am Albis (ZH)
Saturday 10am to midnight; with concerts (starting at 11 am resp. 10.30 on Sunday); Sunday 10am-5pm, barbecue, and entertainment for the whole family.

End of June
Alpaufzug Adelboden - Bringing the cows up to the mountain pasture for summer, Engstligenalp (BE)

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July until September
Lucerne Summer Music Festival, Lucerne (LU)

03. - 06.07.2014 (every three years)
Eidgenössisches Jodlerfest, the National Swiss Yodel Contest, in Davos (GR)
This is a huge event. If you want to attend, make early hotel reservations or stay in close-by villages.

2014 (exact date will be published later)
Alpine Music Festival, Saas Fee (VS)
Swiss Folk Music till you drop. Authentic and uniquely Swiss in a gorgeous Alpine setting.

04. - 19.07.2014
Jazz Festival Montreux (VD)

04. - 06.07.2014
Rosenfest, Weggis (LU)
A delightful summer festival on the shores of the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) that started over 80 years ago. Music, dance, fireworks and the election of the Queen of Roses.
Summer party and gala evening with life music.
Saturday night: crowing of the Rosen Princess after the fireworks
Lunapark: all weekend children's activities Market: all weekend

05. July - 16. August 2014
Music Festival, Ernen (VS)
The picturesque village of Ernen hosts world-class classical concerts during the summer.

08. - 13.07.2014
Davos Sounds Good, Davos (GR)
Mardi Gras Party, Jazz Walk, Dinner dance, Jazz train to Klosters, Street parade, Jazz BBQ, and more.

08. July - 28. August 2014
Thunerseespiele, Thun (BE)
Musical Productions on the shores of Lake Thun. Open Air Stage with a magnificent view to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Don't forget to watch the stage :)

10. - 12.07.2015 (every two years)
Les Médiévales in St-Ursanne (JU)

11. - 20.-7.2014
Jazz Lenk, Lenk (BE)
Small but sophisticated Open Air Jazz Festival featuring international musicians.

17. - 20.07.2014
Gurtenfestival, Bern (BE)
Annual, iconic open air music festival on top of Bern's house mountain.

17. July - 06. September 2014
Menuhin Festival Gstaad (BE)
One of the very best classical festivals worldwide.

18. July - 3. August, 2014
Verbier Festival, Verbier (VS)
Days filled with classical music, played by world-renowned artists. A feast of sound in a spectacular setting. Considered one of the most important European classical festivals.

Street Artist Festival, Adelboden (BE)
(Gaukler und Drehorgel Festival). Comedy, visual art, music and barrel organ. Starting at 1 pm.

22. - 27.07.2014
Paléo Festival Nyon, Nyon (VD)
The largest open air festival in Switzerland.

25. - 27. July 2014
International Alphorn Festival, Nendaz (VS)
Official Alphorn competition, grand traditional procession, concerts, performances by folk groups, traditional dances - a true festival devoted to tradition and Swiss folklore.

26. July - 13. August 2019 (only every 20 years)
Fête des Vignerons - Wine Festival in Vevey (VD)
It's said to be the World's most important wine festival. The celebration of centuries old wine making traditions is an unforgettable spectacle that takes place in the medieval city of Vevey. It takes the "Brotherhood of Wine growers" about five years to organize the event with approx. 3000 participants.

National Costume Festival (Trachten Festival), on the Männlichen (mountain) (BE)
Authentic and traditional. A uniquely Swiss festival. You reach the Männlichen by aerial cable way from Wengen or Gondola from Grindelwald. Start: 11am.

Brünig Schwinget, Brünig-Hasliberg (BE)
This traditional Swiss wrestling event has taken place since 1893 and is very popular. Approximately 120 Wrestler (Schwinger) will challenge each other. Starting at 8 am in the Brünig Arena in Brünig-Hasliberg (approx. 5 minutes on foot from the train station)
From Unterbäch: Post busses between 6 am and 8 am to the Arena
From Lungern and Giswil: Extra trains

Rhine fall Festival, Neuhausen am Rheinfall (SH)
The Rhine fall, Europe's largest waterfall, provides a dramatic backdrop for this giant firework festival.
Start: 9.45 pm

Bielerseefest "Big Bang" (Festival on the Lake), Biel/Bienne (BE)
Fireworks, live music, and good food. Approx. 70'000 spectators attend this festival of fireworks.

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August Cow Fighting Events(each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow fights in the Canton of Valais.

July until September 2014
Summer Music Festival, Lucerne (LU)

July until September 2014
Menuhin Festival Gstaad (BE)
One of the very best classical festivals worldwide.

01 August Yearly event.
Swiss National Day. The best way to see the fireworks and bonfires, with which the Swiss celebrate their National Day, is by taking a boat trip on one of the larger lakes. It is a day celebrated within communities, and depending on the size of the community, the festivities can range from small to sophisticated with parades, fireworks, bonfires and barbecues.

Street Parade Zürich, City of Zürich (ZH)
This has become an annual event for over over 20 years - the biggest outdoor party far and wide that promotes love, freedom, tolerance and respect.

Ländlerchilbi (Folk music fest), St. Antönien (GR)
The impressive scenery of the Rätikon range provides an adequate backdrop for this unique, intimate folk music fest. Admission.

Beginning of August (2014 date will be announced later)
Apricot Festival, Saxon (VS)

06. - 16.08.2014
Film Festival, Locarno (TI)
International Film Festival in a spectacular outdoor setting.

08. - 09.08.2014
Thun Fest
Street fest with various artists. From blues to Irish folk, rock, pop. Street market.
Old town center Bälliz, Thun.

08. July - 28. August 2014
Thunerseespiele, Thun (BE)
Musical Productions on the shores of Lake Thun. Open Air Stage with a magnificent view to Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Don't forget to watch the stage :)

Mid August 2015
National Hornusser Fest (Eidgenössisches Hornusserfest) in Lyss (BE)
Hornussen is an indigenous Swiss sport.

ArtMarket in Zofingen, (AG)
Over 100 artists present their works of art in an outdoor exhibition in the charming and beautiful city of Zofingen. 9am to 6pm.

17.08.2013 (2014 date do be announced)
Gornergrat Alphorn Festival with Alphorn World record, Zermatt (VS) The setting couldn't be more dramatic for the 366 Alphorn players and flag throwing formations.

International Alpine Beard Festival, Chur (GR)
This annual event takes place on Sunday as part of the the Chur Festival, the largest summer fest in the capital of Graubünden. Approximately 60 hairy men compete in this "alpine beauty contest". Starting at 1pm.

22.08. - 31.08.2014
St. Moritz Art Masters, St. Moritz (GR)
10 Day festival of art and culture in the Swiss Mountains of Graubünden.

25.08.2013 (Date for 2014 to be announced)
Alpine Festival in Guttannen (BE)
A small intimate and authentic village festival. Reservation required.
Guttannen lies on the road between Meiringen and the Grimselpass.

Chüefladefäscht (Cow Pie Fest), Riederalp (VS)
Think Golf but you use cow patties instead of golf balls!

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September Cow Fighting Events(each year)
Combat des Reines - Cow fights in the Canton of Valais.

July until September
Summer Music Festival, Lucerne (LU)

July until September
Menuhin Festival Gstaad (BE)
One of the very best classical festivals worldwide.

05. - 07.09.2014
VINEA, Wine Tasting Fair in Sierre (VS)
The largest Swiss Wine testing event.

Annual event on the first Saturday in September
Wii-Grill Fäscht - Wine and Barbecue Fest, Vispterminen (VS)
This is more a culinary hiking tour than a festival. Located in Europe's highest Vineyard, the Heida, who produced the Pearl of Alpine Wine. Reservation necessary. The culinary walking tour costs CHF 90. In the price included are: Complete 6-course dinner including soft drinks and at least 12 different wines, bus transfer, memory glass and a fantastic atmosphere.
Limited space. Make an early reservation.

2017 (exact date to be announced)
Unspunnenfest. Interlaken (BE)
The history of Unspunnen dates back to the 13th century, the Unspunnenfest itself started 1805 as a cow herder's festival. Today, the stone throwing competition adds many Swiss cultural components; from traditional Schwingen, a type of Swiss wrestling, to dance, yodel, music and more. The Unspunnenfest takes place every 12 years!

08.09.2013(2014 date to be announced)
Sheep Procession Gemmi, Leukerbad (VS) The coming home of approx. 800 sheep from the Alpine pasture where they have spent their summer. It's quite a sight to see the sheep coming down the steep Gemmi path. Raclette, BBQ and music.

11.09. - 20.09.2014 (exact date for 2014 to be announced)
Octoberfest in Lucerne (LU)
Call to make reservations for a table +41 (0) 41 367 61 61.

12. and 13. September, 2013 (2014 date to be announced)
Traditional Alpabfahrt, Sumiswald (BE)
Approx. 600 cows return from the Alpine Pasture of Lüderenalp to Sumiswald. 9.30am in Sumiswald.

13. and 15. September 2013 (2014 date to be announced)
Medieval Market at the Lenzburg Castle, Lenzburg (AG)
Tradesmen, knights, mercenaries, gamblers, artists, musicians…

14.09.2013 (date for 2014 to be announced)
Alpine Cheese Fest, Grosse Scheidegg - Jungfrau Region (BE)
Cheese fest, local food and entertainment.

14.09.2013 (2014 date do be announced)
Alpabzug, Urnäsch (AR)
One of the most colourful rituals of the Alpabfahrt in Switzerland, the coming home of the cows from the Alpine summer pasture. Between 9.30am and 2pm through Urnäsch. The exact time can't be predicted, but the annual farmers market in Urnäsch will keep you busy until the big spectacle.

Alphorn Concert in Lugano (TI)
Saturday: 11 am and 8:30 pm at the Piazza Reforma in Lugano

Alphorn concert and Flag throwing on Alpe Foppa (Monte Tamaro)(TI)
Sunday: 11am and 3 pm
Regional train from Lugano or Locarno to Rivera-Bironico. 300m to Gondola to Alpe Foppa

Alpine Cheese making competition, Frutigen (BE)
Bernese Alpine Cheese making competition with live folklore music.

Mid September 2015 (every 4 years)
Air Show, Breitling, Sion (Valais)

Sichlete, Bern (BE)
The legendary harvest festival "Sichlete" starts at 10am on the Bundeshausplatz, the square in front of the federal building in Bern. Bernese farmers bring life to the city with cows, sheep, pigs, goats, horses, music and dance. The highlight is the parade that starts at 1.15pm at the National Equestrian Centre (Nationales Pferdezentrum) and ends at approximately 2am on the Bundeshausplatz. 3pm: The most beautiful cow will be crowned Miss Sichlete.

20. - 21.09.2013
Pfyfoltru-Weinfest Week, Varen (VS)
Pfyfoltru (meaning Butterfly in the local language) Wine festival.

Chästeilet Justistal (BE)
Farmers receive the cheese that has been made while the cows spent the summer in the alpine pastures.
Where: Spycherberg Justistal. Catch a bus at the main square in Sigriswil, starting at 7:30am

Désalpes de la Fouly and Sembrancher (VS
The coming home of the cows who have spent the summer high up in the mountains. Near Orsière and Verbier. Grand parade starts at 10am; afternoon: cow fights.

Goat Alpine procession in Rona (near Savognin) (GR)
Coming home of the goats from the alpine pasture (Ziegen-Alpabzug). Approx. 11am in Rona.

22. - 24.09.2013
Chase of the Fulehung (Swiss German for "lazy dog").
This fool plays a central role at the "Ausschiesset" (crossbow shooting by cadets), a folk festival in Thun, with roots dating back to the 16th century. Old town center.

Brächätä, Zäziwil (BE)
If you want to know how the Swiss lived and worked in the times of Jeremias Gotthelf (beloved Swiss novelist and poet, 1797 - 1854), and want to get close up with the culture of the Emmental (where the "Emmentaler", known as Swiss Cheese to the rest of the World, is produced), then this is a festival not to miss.

27. - 29.09.2013
Wine Festival Neuchâtel (NE)
This three-day festival celebrates the wine growing region of the three lakes.

Alpabzug - Coming home of the Cows from the Alpine Pasture (Alpabfahrt) Sörenberg - Schüpfheim (LU)
Market starts at 10am; Grand entry starts around 11am in Schüpfheim.

Désalpe in L’Etivaz, (VD)
Coming home of the cows from having spent their summers on Alpine pastures.

End of September, 2013
Alpabzug - Homecoming of the Cows (Désalpe) - a great festival that marks the end of the Alpine season, St-Cergue (VD)

Désalpe in Charmey, (FR)
The homecoming of cows after they have spent a few month high up in Alpine pasture. Starting at 9.30am.

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August until October (each year)
Combat des Reines - Cowfights in different villages in the Canton of Valais (VS)

Désalpe in Albeuve (FR)
Coming home of the cows from the Alpine pastures.

Cheese Festival (Käsefest), Schwägalp (SG)
With entertainment to celebrate the end of the alpine summer.

05.10.2013 (first Saturday in October)
Désalpe, Le Boéchet (JU)
The celebration of the home-coming of the cows from the alpine pasture. Starting at 10am.

06.10.2013 (each year first Sunday in October)
Glarner Alpchäs und Schabziger Märt in Elm (GL)
A colourful Alpine festival, cheese and "Zigerstöckli" market, the latter a Swiss specialty produced only in this region. Cattle drive.

07. - 19.10.2013
AlpKultur in Lenk im Simmenthal (BE)
A week long celebration of Alpine Culture
Main events: 12.10.2013 Alpfest; 19.10.2013 Hornussen tournament and festival

10. - 13.10.2013
Prättigauer Alp Spektakel in Küblis and Seewis (Graubünden)
The celebration of the coming home of the cows that have spent their summer on Alpine pastures; life music, alpine specialities and good food in the villages of Küblis and Seewis.

11. - 13.10.2013
Cheese Fest in Bellinzona (Rassegna dei Formaggi) (TI)
Cheese delicacies (Cows, goats and sheep) produced during the alpine summer throughout the canton Ticino are presented on market stands during the three-day fall fair in the old town of Bellinzona, the capital of the Canton Ticino.
The "Rassegna dei formaggi" is a colourful fall fest, and believe me, the Ticinesi know how to party. Friday: 4pm until midnight
Saturday: 10 am until midnight
Sunday: 10 am until 2 pm

Onion Market in Lugano (TI)
The onion is not only Queen at the "Berner Zibelemärit", the Ticinesi have their own onion fest with all kinds of specialties served and I guarantee it won't make you cry.
Saturday: starting at 9 am at the "Piazza Manzoni" in Lugano.

Chestnut and Autumn Festival in Ascona (TI)
The Maronatt (Chestnut roasting men) are roasting about 2000 kg Chestnuts during the "Sagra delle castagne e festa d'autunno" in the picturesque town of Ascona on Lago Maggiore. There are many more products made of chestnut offered during this colourful festival.
Bus #1 from Locarno to Ascona. Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm.

Savogniner Schafschur (GR)
Sheep shearing and the celebration of the Alpine Culture.

13.10.2013 (Various activities between 05. - 20.10.2013)
Chestnut Festival in Castasegna, Bregaglia (Kastanienfestival Bregaglia)

The chestnut calls the valley of Bregaglia home and is celebrated during a two week harvest festival each October. The main Festival Event takes place mid October, 2013 in Castasegna (program will be released later), just a hence race outside of Soglio, (6.5 km/4 miles), and not too far from St. Moritz.

During these two weeks, various activates around the chestnut take place each day: gourmet meals in Restaurants, cooking classes, guided cultural tours, visits with families who harvest and conserve chestnut products; you can even get down and dirty and help with "hitting chestnuts" to free them from their shells.

The Valley of Bregaglia is a hidden jewel, far off the beaten path. Their website is only written in German and Italian. Hardly any visitors from overseas make it into this stunning alpine valley with its dramatic backdrop of craggy and impressive mountains on each side. You sure will experience something special worth to write home about!

You could plan a trip with the Palm Express (by Postbus) from St. Moritz to Lugano with an overnight or two in Castasegna to attend this very authentic event. Seat reservation is mandatory for the Palm Express. You can do that online: just reserve a seat from St. Moritz to Castasegna, and then from Castasegna to Lugano, and the Postbus will stop to pick you up.

Of course, the regular post bus will take you there too, but then you will have to return to St. Moritz - only the Palm Express will continue to Lugano (via Italy).

17.October - 02. November, 2013
Octoberfest in Winterthur (ZH)

Cheese Festival in Lucerne (LU)
Kapellplatz, Lucerne

Cheese Festival (Käsemarkt) Bern (BE)
Waisenhausplatz, Bern

Grand Jubilee of the Adelboden Life Stock Breeders Association, Adelboden (BE)
Proud farmers showing off their priced cattle at an impressive show. Evening entertainment.
Saturday: Starting at 8 am next to the Sillerenbühl station Fuhrenweidli in Adelboden

25. - 27.10.2013
Trüelete - Wine Fest, Twann (BE)
The vintner town of Twann (on Lake Biel/Bienne) is one big party place, celebrating the grapes of the region.

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16.- 16.11.2013
Nidwaldner Alpchäs Market in Beckenried (NW)
Alpine Cheese market and festival.

23.- 24.11.2013
Ürner Alpchäsmärcht in Seedorf (UR)
Alp Cheese Market and festival.

Zibelemärit - Onion Market, Bern (BE)
Come in the wee hours of the morning for breakfast. It's a crowd pleaser and people visit from all over Switzerland.

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St. Nicholas Chase, one of the most impressive St. Nicholas traditions in Europe (Klausjagen), Küssnacht an Rigi (SZ)
Pupil Parade: 2.15pm St. Nicholas Chase: 8.15pm

05. - 08.12.2013
Christmas Market in Bremgarten. This very traditional annual event features over 320 stalls. It's mostly visited by the Swiss themselves, and still considered an insider tip for visitors. Bremgarten (AG)

07. - 08.12.2013 (always on the first weekend in December)
Christmas Market in St-Ursanne (JU)

07. - 09.12.2013
Fête de l'Escalade, a medieval celebration that commemorates the victory over the Duke of Savoy. Geneva (GE)

Chlousemärit (St. Nicholas Market), Spiez (BE)
Small but enchanting. The idyllic bay of Spiez is one of the most romantic bays in Europe. 18 minutes by train from Interlaken, 9 minutes from Thun or 30 minutes from Bern.
2pm - 9pm

St. Nocholas Celebration in Romont (FR)
Always first Saturday in December: Torchlight procession and St. Nicholas Market.
10 am to 8 pm at the town hall outside the castle; 6 pm torchlight procession

12.12.2013 (held every second Thursday each year)
Chlausmarkt and Chlauschlöpfe in Lenzburg (AG)
Traditional St.Nicolaus market.

26. - 30.12.2013
Trychle procession in Meiringen-Oberhasli (BE)

27.12.2012 - 01.04.2013
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz (GR)
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

31.12.2013 (and 13.01.2014)
Silvesterchlausen, Urnäsch, Herisau, Hundwil, Stein, Waldstatt, Schwellbrunn, und Schönengrund (AR)
Celebrated December 31 and January 13, the old New Years Eve. Colourful groups of masks wander from house to house, where they ring their bells, yodel and wish each family per handshake a prosperous and happy new year.

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