Switzerland is a land where tradition and modernity come together. 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. Switzerland Hub takes you on a tour of the festivals of Switzerland, as you join in the celebrations and enjoy the warm welcome given to guests.
Christmas (25th December)
Since Switzerland is a Christian majority country, Christmas has special significance here. Carols are sung, and plum puddings are baked, stockings are stuffed for unsuspecting children by their parents, and the bitterly cold winter landscape is transformed into a snowy wonderland. The Klausjagen, or chase of the St. Nicholas, is one of the more endearing Swiss customs associated with Christmas.
Epiphany (6th January)
Epiphany celebrates the visit of the Three Kings to Baby Jesus. Singers dressed as the three kings visit the houses in their locality, carrying the symbolic star of Bethlehem and singing carols. Valais sees an elaborate parade on this day, complete with "kings" and "jesters".
Von Gryff (13th/ 20th/ 27th January)
Von Gryff is celebrated in Kleinbasel, in Basel canton of Switzerland. 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).
Each canton celebrated this festival of Switzerland in a different manner. While Fribourg holds a feast, Charmey celebrates the harvest season by holding cart-racing competitions. Other cantons celebrate by showering confetti, selling decorated onions, or many other ways that are uniquely Swiss.
National Day (1st August)
Perhaps the Swiss National Day is the earliest National Day to be celebrated by any country in the world. Dating back to 1291, the National Day is celebrated with bonfires, barbeques and general merriment.
Once you visit the carnivals of Switzerland, you will see a side to the Swiss that is completely different from the workaholic, staid image they project. Costumes, floats, bands, buggies- this festival of Switzerland is a riot of colors and sounds.
Wine Festival (September)
Held once every 25 years, the Wine Festival of Switzerland honors the wine growing industry. The Greek God of wine and other Bacchanalian pleasures is honored, and floats depicting flowers and woods are taken out in a street parade.
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