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10 events in Switzerland you shouldn't miss this January

Sandra Sparrowhawk
Sandra Sparrowhawk - [email protected]
10 events in Switzerland you shouldn't miss this January
Lucerne's firework show is a highlight every year. Photo by from pexels.

From New Year’s celebrations to food markets and sporting competitions, here are the top events you shouldn’t miss out on this January in Switzerland.


New Year Fireworks

To mark the New Year, Lucerne will be illuminating the sky with a spectacular firework show - Neujahrszauber - from 8.15pm on January 1st 2024.

For the best view, head to the pier along the quay to view the display in all its glory.


Most towns and villages around Switzerland will have some sort of event - often with fireworks - on New Year's Eve (although this year some local authorities have decided against them due to cost and environmental impact). Check your canton's website for details of events near you. 

Touch The Mountains

If you like to ring in the new year with song and dance, we recommend swinging by the Touch The Mountains open-air festival held in Interlaken on January 1st 2024. The event will feature local talent, including popular singer and songwriter Bastian Baker, from 2pm.


Hurry and snag a (still available) ticket for 40 Swiss francs. Note that children aged 12 and under pay 30 francs, however, strollers are not allowed in the Golden Circle area.

New Year's Eve Ceremony

Lugano’s New Year’s Eve festivities will begin with a procession, organised by the city’s authorities and associations, at 11am on January 1st. The procession will start from Piazza della Riforma in the direction of Piazza Manzoni and be followed by an address by the city’s mayor Michele Foletti and citizen Marco Solari at 11.30am and an aperitif at 12.30pm.


Every year on January 2nd, Interlaken is haunted by the Hardermann – the Harder Kulm Mountain spirit – his wife (Wyb) and his many followers (Potschenen). If you’re brave enough to cross their path, head to Markplatz (starting point) to witness this decades-old procession, rich in culture and tradition, yourself.


Switzerland’s largest public photography event will take over Zurich’s exhibitions halls at Halle 550 in Zürich-Nord from January 6th to 10th. The event, which sees some 28,000 visitors each year, will include outstanding artwork from over 250 photographers and feature a market where photography companies can present their latest products.

Lilu Light Festival

Lucerne’s 5th Lulu Light Festival will once again light up the city with 20 creative light installations by a selection of global artists. The show will take place from January 11th to 21st in the Lucerne’s old town and around the city’s lake basin.

Old New Year's Eve

Did you know that Switzerland’s Appenzellerland celebrates the turn of the year not once, but twice? The region commemorates the new year according to the Gregorian calendar on December 31st and again according to the Julian calendar on January 13th.

The tradition, which was first mentioned in 1663, includes three Silvesterchläuse (masked persons): the Schöne (pretty), Schö-Wüeschte (pretty-ugly) and Wüeschte (ugly). The trio set out in the early hours of the morning and go from home to home to wish every resident a happy new year.

If you happen to reside outside of Appenzell, you can still travel to the region to catch a glimpse of the trio making their rounds about town or head to a local pub to engage with them in person. For the latter, we recommend booking at a pub table early.


Paint in the Dark

Whether you fancy yourself a bit of an artist who’s up for a challenge or a newbie with a flair for art, Paint in the Dark guarantees fun for everyone. The pop-up event - where you will be painting, you guessed it, with luminescent pigments with the help of special lighting - will take place in Geneva on January 19th (6.50pm-8.50pm). The event is bilingual in English and French.

Cross de Lausanne

On January 27th, you get the chance to join Switzerland’s largest national cross-country event in Lausanne.

The sporting event will see some 800 runners – from top athletes to casual joggers - as well as several national teams run around a 1-kilometre circuit within the grounds of Bourget Park.

Olive Oil Special Market

If you’re on looking for something different to do come January, we have good news. On January 27th (10am-3pm), Basel’s Markthalle will host its Olivenöl-Spezialmarkt dedicated to one of the oldest foods in the world. There, you can chat with olive oil producers and find out what makes great oils while sampling top quality products.


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