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Looking ahead: The best events and festivals in Switzerland in 2022

After nearly two years of living with various restrictions, we all need something uplifting to do and to look forward to. Here’s a selection of some fun events scheduled to take place in Switzerland this year.

The birth of the nation: the official part of August 1 is celebrated on Rütli mountain. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP
The birth of the nation: the official part of August 1 is celebrated on Rütli mountain. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

There is a quote that says “Switzerland is a fine place to be born and die in, but what is there to do in between?”

It is attributed to an ‘anonymous’ source because whoever said it probably knew they were wrong and didn’t want their identity revealed (we are guessing it wasn’t Roger Federer).

Be it as it may, he or she was wrong, because there are many events taking place across the country each year, even if many had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.  

The events listed below are set to happen as of the time of this article, January 7th, but as the epidemiological evolution is uncertain at this point, it is best to check whether they will actually take place before you go and what the conditions of entry are.

January

Mürren  (BE) – January 19th-22nd: Inferno ski races

Even though its name suggests otherwise, this is not “an event from hell”. To the contrary, you can expect loads of heavenly fun, whether you participate in the race or just watch it.

This video (n German) explains what this race is all about.

St. Moritz (GR) – January 27th-February 5th: Gourmet Festival

This year’s event will be held under the motto “SWISS MADE”. As the name suggests, the focus  will be on the wealth and diversity of Swiss gastronomy.

No, it’s not all cheese and chocolate — though a lot of people would be happy with just that.

February

Lucerne – February 24th – March 1st: Carnival

Lucerne’s scenic Old Town will be transformed into one big festival site, with merry-making, music, and dancing. A loud explosion (the Urknall or «Big Bang») at 5 in the morning of ‘Schmutzig Thursday’ (dirty Thursday) marks the start of the Lucerne Carnival.

Merry-making in Lucerne. Photo by Elke Kenneweg, Luzern.com

March

Locarno (TI) – from March 23rd :Camellia Festival

An exhibition featuring over 200 varieties of this flower, beautifully arranged by experienced gardeners and highlighting this plant, an enrichment to the canton’s botanical patrimony, can be seen in private and public gardens of the Locarno region

April

Zermatt –  April 5th-9th: Zermatt Unplugged

An acoustic music festival with the backdrop of a famous Matterhorn

Zurich – April 25th: Spring Festival 

This age-old tradition dates back to the 16th century, when the City Council – which at that time comprised exclusively members of various guilds – resolved that in summer, work should stop an hour later than in the winter months. So during summer, people were able to work as long as there was daylight, and the bell rang to signal the end of the working day  at 6.00pm

May

Gruyère (FR) –  May 1st: Cheese Festival

The traditional Cheese Market is being  in the heart of the medieval Town of Gruyères, after which the famous Swiss cheese was named.

Several cheese makers will be present for this festival held in Rue du Bourg. There will also be local craftsmen selling their hand-made wares.

June

Interlaken (BE) – 24th-26th June: International Trucker and Country Festival

Honky Tonk, country, rock, rockabilly, and blues may be more at home in the United States than in a Swiss town, but this festival has some ‘Swiss made’ flavour as well, as many artists are locally-grown.

Ascona (TI) – early June – Street Artists’ Festival

What could be more fun for the entire family than clowns, jogglers, mimes and other artists entertaining the public in the streets and piazzas of this picturesque town.

For exact date of this event watch this space.

July

Montreux (VD) –  July 1st-16th: Montreux Jazz Festival

Lionel Richie will be among dozens of top-class artists to perform live at one of the world’s most famous jazz festivals held in this town on the shores of Lake Geneva, which was also temporary home to Freddy Mercury and Queen.

St. Moritz (GR) – July 8th-11th: British Classic Car Meeting

If you are a fan of old British automobiles — and who isn’t — this event is right up your…alley.

It includes The “Grand Prix Rally” which leads from St. Moritz via Scuol and the Reschen Pass to Val Venosta in Mals (Italy), and via the Ofen Pass (National Park Region) back to the Engadine.

Nyon (VD) – July 19th–24th: Paléo Festival

A huge outdoor indie rock festival. This year’s lineup includes the group KISS, Sting, and scores (no pun intended) of other renowned artists.

Paléo music festival is loads of fun. Photo: Région du Léman

Lucerne – 22nd-30th July: Blue Balls Festival

We swear we are not making this up, but we are duty-bound to report the existence of this music festival.

We have no idea why this event is thusly named. This may be a subject for another article though.

August

Throughout Switzerland –  August 1st: Swiss National Day celebrations

Locarno (TI) – August 3rd-13th: Locarno Film Festival

It may not be Cannes, but Locarno’s annual film festival is famous in its own right.

You can find out more about this year’ movie lineup and other information here.

September

Interlaken (BE) – September 9th: Jungfrau Marathon

This race on a rugged mountainous terrain is not for the faint-hearted, but the breathtakingly beautiful landscape along the entire course makes it worthwhile for runners and spectators.

This is the map of the race.

Image: Jungfrau Marathon

Zermatt (VS) – September 11th: Shepherd Festival

If you like folklore, you will enjoy this award ceremony for the best-looking Valais blacknose sheep and for the Shepherd of the Year.

Baaa, prize-winning sheep.Photo: Zermatt.com

October

Ascona (TI) – October  15th-16th: Chestnut Festival

If you are nuts about chestnuts this ‘harvest’ festival is for you.

 Over 2,000 kg of fire-roasted chestnuts are usually for sale, along with chestnut-based delicacies such as jams, honeys and cakes, as well as other traditional Ticino foods.

November

Bern – November 28th: Zibelemärit

Only at the traditional onion-market fair in the city’s Old Town can you see metre-long braids with white and red onions, as well as other creatively arranged onion products.

You can also sample an onion tart, onion soup, onion pizza, or sausage with — you guessed it — onions!

Bern’s onions .Photo by Bern.com

December

Christmas markets

We are guessing it is too early to get into the Christmas spirit right now, but these are some markets planned for December:

Lucerne – early December-23rd December

Montreux – late November-Christmas Eve

Bern – late November-Christmas Eve

Basel – late November-23rd December

These are just some events that are scheduled for 2022. It is more than likely that others take place in your Swiss region / town / village, along with such traditional festivals as cow parades and harvest wine festivals.

You can check local listings in your community.

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CULTURE

These are the most (and least) trusted professions in Switzerland

The butcher, the baker, the candlestick-maker don’t figure among the professions the Swiss people find most trustworthy. But these others do.

These are the most (and least) trusted professions in Switzerland

You may think the Swiss trust their bankers more than anyone else in the world. But if you believe that, you are wrong.

A new survey by Moneyland.ch, a Swiss consumer website, found that only 20 percent of study participants find bankers trustworthy.

On the other hand, the most trusted professionals in Switzerland (by 74 percent of respondents) are firefighters, followed by nurses (66 percent), doctors (64 percent), and pilots (63 percent).

An interesting pattern is emerging here: the Swiss put most trust in those who have the control of our lives and health.

Other professionals that are trusted by 50-plus percent of respondents are pharmacists, public transport drivers, police officers, farmers, and cooks — again, those who are responsible, in one way or another, for our health and safety.

The flipside: the least trusted are…

Bankers, as mentioned before, along with financial advisors, are fairly low in the trust ranking, the latter being seen as trustworthy by only 18 percent of study participants.

But they don’t fare as badly as other professionals.

For instance, only 14 percent of respondents trust their politicians, and even fewer put their faith in advertising professionals.

Speaking of faith, merely 22 percent trust members of clergy, which is compatible with data showing that an increasing number of people are no longer attending church.

Some other interesting findings…

Only 12 percent of the population trust Swiss football players (after all, they haven’t yet won any championships). More than that, however, 22 percent, trust journalists.

‘We don’t like France, Germany or Italy’: How linguistic diversity unites Swiss football fans

That is not a lot, but at least we fare better than footballers.

You can see the full study here.

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