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 four different official 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

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 festival in Interlaken
Always on January 2nd
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.

10. - 17.01. 2015
Witches Downhill Race, Bellalp/Blatten (VS)
Switzerland's craziest downhill race, that culminates into the witches' party night with life music.

13.01.2015 (and 31.12.2015)
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.

Sledding festival in the Engadin
Mid January
Schlitteta St. Moritz, Pontresina, Samedan, Champfèr - Engadin (GR)
This is an old tradition celebrated in many villages in Graubünden, though not as elaborate as in the Engadin. In the olden days when a young man picked up his girl from the farm in a horse drawn sled to attend a dance it was also meant as a marriage proposal. Here, a couple in their best finery is carried through the winter landscape on a horse-drawn sleigh. Village festival atmosphere. For questions: email or call +41 81 828 88 03.

Vogel Gryff - a festival in Basel
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)

24. January - 1. February, 2015
International Balloon Festival in Château'd'Oex (FR)

December through March each year
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.

07. - 08.02.2015
Horn Sledge Race - Hornschlittenrennen in Braunwald (GL)
Approx. 88 km (55 miles) from Zürich and 18 km (11 miles) from Glarus

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.

08. / 15. / 22.02.2015
White Turf St. Moritz (GR)
International Horse race on ice!

Hornsledrace in Fideris - a winter festival
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.

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.

December through March each year
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)

28.2. - 02.03. Every Year
Chalandamarz (GR) Children ring enormous cow bells to drive out the evil spirits of winter. An outdoor party of whip-cracking, singing, and good food in Graubünden.

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.

19. March - 26. March, 2015
Basel World - The World Watch and Jewelry Show, Basel (BS)

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.

28.03.2015(Weather permitting)
Verbier Xtreme, Verbier (VS)
Daredevil off-piste freerider snowboard competition. The final stop for the Free Ride World Tour.

28.03.2015 (every year)
Tulip Festival in Morges (VD)

December through March each year
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz (GR)
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

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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.

An artists festival in Thun
08. - 12.04.2015
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.

Burning of the boogie man in Zürich
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)

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

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.

06. - 09.06.2014
International Street Artists Festival - Festival Artisti di Strada in Ascona (TI)

07. - 08.06.2014
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.

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.

Alphorn festival on Seealpsee
Meeting of the Alphorns, Seealpsee, Alpstein (AI)
Alphorn blower, flag thrower, and spectators meet at the idyllic Seealpsee, nestled between the pinnacles of the Alpstein massif in It starts at 10am; 10:30am worship in the Brother Klaus Chappel; 12:00pm Alphorn concerts.
If the weather is not cooperating, do contact Peter Hochreuter to check if the event takes place.

Second half of June 2017 (every three years - exact date will be announced later)
30. Eidgenössisches Jodelfest in Brig-Glis (VS)
4-day Federal Yodel Fest is the largest folklore event in Switzerland, where Yodel groups perform and compete in their festive costumes. Homesick Swiss visit to celebrate their heritage and even international yodel groups attend.

The video shows impressions from the last event that took place in Davos, Graubünden beginning of July in 2014 and attracted over 100'000 visitors.

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)

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)

10. - 20.07.2014
Medieval Knights' Tournament, Schaffhausen (SH)
The tournament takes place on "Herrenacker 15" (around Museum Allerheiligen) where the best tournament riders from Switzerland, Germany, England and Australia will demonstrate their skills. About 800 spectators follow the spectacle so make a reservation early.

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

Rigi Schwinget, Mount Rigi above Lucerne (LU)
Swiss Wrestling and Alpine fest on the Rigi, the Queen of Lucerne Mountains. Folklore music, yodeling, flag throwing, alphorn blowers and more.
8.30 am Start
1.00 Stone throwing
2.15pm traditional Alpine ascent at the fairy grounds
4.30pm finals

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.

19. - 20.07.2014
"Alpstobede uf de Ebenalp", Ebenalp (Appenzell)
Can you pronounce that? All it means is that this is a fabulous traditional mountain fest with folklore music and dance in a stunning location with views to the Alpstein massif.
Saturday: starting at 7:30pm with music and dance; Sunday all day entertaining, starting at 11am.

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.

Swiss Wrestling on Brünig-Hasliberg
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.

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 :)

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.

03. - 05.08.2014
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. - 10.08.2014 (every year on the second weekend in August)
Swiss Food Festival, Zermatt (VS)
Three days of culinary delights, prepared by GaultMillau and Michelin star chefs. Venues are two first class hotels and the streets of Zermatt. Special offer: Sunday breakfast in a Gondola with breathtaking views to the Matterhorn.

10.08.2014 (every year on the second Sunday in August)
Folklore Festival, Zermatt (VS)
An afternoon of Swiss folklore - yodelling, musicians, and 1200 dancers entertain spectators on the fairground with their performances.

10.08.2014 or 17.08.2014 depending on the weather
Alpine Festival in Guttannen (BE)
A small intimate and authentic village festival. Reservation required.
Guttannen lies on the road between Meiringen and the Grimselpass.

Aelplerwunschkonzert on Urnerboden
Älplerwunschkonzert, Urnerboden (UR)
The "Wunschkonzert" is a weekly radio program that plays music on request. Once a year it's performed as an open air and fest-tent alpine festival on Urnerboden for dairymen, -women and alpine farmers from all over Switzerland. More than 1000 cows chomp their way through the valley that is wedged between an impressive mountain scenery. This is a unique event and it can't get anymore authentic.

Alpine Music Festival on Triftalp, Saas Grund (VS)
Swiss Folk Music till you drop. Celebrating authentic and uniquely Swiss traditions in a gorgeous Alpine setting. Location: Café Triftalp.

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.

Alpine beard festival in Chur
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.

17.08.2014 (or 24.08. if weather does not cooperate)
Schwägalp Schwinget, Toggenburg (SG)
Beautiful natural arena at the foot of Mount Säntis amidst the lovely Appenzell and Toggenburg mountains. Folklore entertainment from music to yodeling, flag throwing and more.
8.30am start

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.

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.

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!

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

5. - 21.09.2014
Zermatt Festival, Zermatt (VS) Celebrating classical music.

6. - 7.09.2014
Shepard Festival, Zermatt (VS)
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most beautiful Blacknose sheep in Zermatt? Great event for the whole family.

10. - 14.09.2014
World Logging Championships, Brienz (BE)
What better place than Brienz, Switzerland's wood carving village, to host the World Logging Championships.

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

Schwingfest on Gornergrat
12. - 14.09.2014
Swiss Wrestling and Alphorn Festival on Gornergrat, Zermatt (VS)
It can't get more Swiss :) "Schwingen" (kind of wrestling) is a typical Swiss national sport. At the same time, more than 500 Alphorn blowers will blow their horn simultaneously.
12.09.: Tester day for all those who are interested in learning how to wrestle the Swiss way;
13.09.: Start at 9:30am with Alphorn blowers, flag throwers, yodel and folklore music; 10am wrestling competitions; 5pm award ceremony followed by entertainment in Zermatt;
14.09.: 9am "Schwinger Brunch" in the Hotel Kulm on Gornergrat; history of show fights; opportunity to get autographs (Swiss Wrestlers have become celebrities); air show by Air Zermatt; 2pm closing concert.

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.

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

Spiezermärit, Spiez (BE)
Traditional wine-fest and autumn market with over 250 market stalls. Starts at 9am. Spiez boosts the most beautiful bay in Switzerland. Between Interlaken and Thun.

Sichlete, a farmers festival in Bern
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.

18. and 19. September, 2014
Traditional Alpabfahrt, Sumiswald (BE)
Approx. 600 cows return from the Alpine Pasture of Lüderenalp to Sumiswald. 10am to 3pm on Sept. 18 and 10am to 1pm Sept. 19 in Sumiswald.

19. and 21. September 2014
Medieval Market at the Lenzburg Castle, Lenzburg (AG)
Tradesmen, knights, mercenaries, gamblers, artists, musicians…

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 or Beatenberg, starting at 7:30am

Alpine Cheese Fest on Grosse Scheidegg above Grindelwald. (BE)
Folklore fest and music.

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.

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

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.

21. - 23.09.2014
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 - a cultural festival in Zäziwil
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 cultural festival not to miss.

26. - 27.09.2014
Pfyfoltru-Weinfest Week, Varen (VS)
Pfyfoltru (meaning Butterfly in the local language) Wine festival.

26. - 28.09.2014
Wine Festival Neuchâtel (NE)
This three-day festival celebrates the wine growing region of the three lakes.

Entlebucher Alpine descent - Coming home of the Cows from the Alpine Pasture (Alpabfahrt) 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.

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)

03. - 05.10.2014 (always on the first weekend in October)
Autumn Festival, Lugano (TI)
A fall festival dedicated to local products with lots of activities, music and good food in the pedestrian zone of Lugano.

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.

04.10.2014 (first Saturday in October)
Désalpe, Le Boéchet (JU)
The celebration of the home-coming of the cows from the alpine pasture. Starting at 10am.

Maronatt - celebrating the chestnut in Ascona
04. - 05.10.2014
Chestnut and Autumn Festival, 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 fall festival.
Bus #1 from Locarno to Ascona. Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm.

05.10.2014 (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.

06. - 18.10.2014
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

09. - 12.10.2014
Prättigauer Alp Spektakel in 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 Prättigau village of Seewis.

Cheesefest in Bellinzona
10. - 12.10.2014
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. Sample lots of local specialties such as wine, cheese, honey, breads, sweets, chestnuts and more.
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

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

12.10.2013 (Various activities between 04. - 19.10.2014)
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.

Chestnut festival in Soglio
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).

16.October - 01. November, 2014
Octoberfest in Winterthur (ZH)

Cheese Festival in Lucerne (LU)
Kapellplatz, Lucerne

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

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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15.- 16.11.2014
Nidwaldner Alpchäs Market in Beckenried (NW)
Alpine Cheese market and festival.

22.- 23.11.2014
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.

29. - 30.11.2014
Christmas Market, Brienz (BE)
Brienz celebrates one of the most romantic Christmas markets in Switzerland. Decorated windows, market stalls, specialty food, entertainment, children activities, and of course - a market in Brienz wouldn't be complete with wood carved products from this charming village on the lake.

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01.12.2014 - 06.01.2015
Natale in Piazza - Christmas markets, Lugano (TI)
Lighting of the Christmas tree, followed by markets, music events, entertainment and advent market. Largest Christmas Markets on 14 and 18 December.

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

04. - 07.12.2014
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)

06. - 07.12.2014 (always on the first weekend in December)
Christmas Market in St-Ursanne (JU)

05. - 06.12.2014
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

11.12.2014 (held every second Thursday each year)
Chlausmarkt and Chlauschlöpfe in Lenzburg (AG)
Traditional St.Nicolaus market.

26. - 30.12.2014
Trychle procession in Meiringen-Oberhasli (BE)

27.12.2014 - 01.04.2015
Snow and Symphony in St. Moritz (GR)
World-famous orchestras and soloists present a series of classical and jazz concerts.

31.12.2014 (and 13.01.2015)
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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