Switzerland is known for a lot of things—beautiful landscapes such as its famous Alpine mountains, its global city of Geneva, watchmaking, Swiss villages, the diverse culture, and age-old traditions. However, despite its rich culture and heritage, not many people outside the country are familiar with its festivals.
In this article, we will discuss Swiss festivals and celebrations people must know about.
The Best Festivals in Switzerland
Switzerland has a lot of festivals and can be categorized into the following: seasonal festivals, cultural festivals, food and drink festivals, and film, music, and the arts festival.
Grindelwald World Snow Festival
This is maybe the most famous festival in Switzerland due to its international status. Every year, in January, international artists from different parts of the world gather in the village of Grindelwald to create meter-high statues of snow. The festival has been around for decades. In fact, it started in 1983, after Japanese artists made a gigantic Heidi sculpture in the village.
The festival lasts for five to six days, and people visit this village to marvel at the statues showing various things such as animals, people, mythical creatures, and even abstract figures. Moreover, the figures will usually depend on the year’s theme. When it comes to judging the creations, the public can also join in by giving their opinions on the creations.
This is the largest carnival in Switzerland and it has been added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list and one of the top 50 local festivals in Europe. To describe the event, this is the only celebration where the Swiss go wild. In short, the citizens (who are normally well-behaved) can let themselves go and have fun. Because this is a type of merrymaking, people of Basel dress in costumes to hide their identities, bands play and join the parades, bars remain open for 72 hours, and intricate lanterns are showcased at the plaza.
The Carnival, which the people lovingly called “Dame Fasnacht” is a colorful and wild event that starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday. The event happens before Lent, and according to some sources, people do this to drive away demons. Although the origin of the festival is not so clear, some resources say that the original celebration was of Celtic and Germanic origins.
Zurich Festival (Zuri Fascht)
One of the largest festivals in the largest city of Switzerland is the Zur Fascht. The event lasts for three days, and only happens once every three years. During this festival, visitors from different parts of Switzerland, and the world take to the streets to celebrate it.
The festival includes various activities and performances, such as operas, concerts, theater, the arts, and dance. Aside from those cultural activities, food stalls also showcase the different culinary delights of many countries in the world.
The festival’s main event is its musical fireworks displays.
Aside from famous Swiss festivals and celebrations, know more about Switzerland’s culture, including its customs. Check out MSM Unify’s articles about studying in Switzerland to learn more.