Event Highlights: Regions
Whether you love nature, sports, music, culture or simple nostalgia, there is plenty going on around Bern! Here is our selection of events that definitely belong on the “to-do list” for 2019.
Opening of the Gantrisch Rope Park
The big day will arrive on 7 April with the grand reopening of the rope park in Gantrisch. The newly designed park facilities in Längeney Forest – just 30 minutes by car from Bern – is an ideal adventure for the entire family. Different rope routes, Tyrolean traverses, numerous play areas and inviting spots for grilling and picnics guarantee a perfect family outing.
Welcoming Spring in Huttwil
Spring “officially” arrives in Huttwil between 5 and 7 April. In addition to an Easter egg market and Easter workshop, a presentation of small animals and art exhibitions are held on the grounds of Hotel “Kleiner Prinz”. It’s the perfect setting for a weekend outing in the country.
Klangantrisch Festival of Sound
The harmonious sounds of local, regional and international musicians will once again fill the air in the Gantrisch region. The music festival is held from 23 until 26 May in Riggisberg and features musicians and singers from a wide variety of genres. However, music fans aren’t the only ones who will find something to their liking. The festival also offers a broad choice of food as well.
Gotthelf Market in Sumiswald
Each summer the nostalgic Gotthelf Market attracts throngs of visitors to the historic village center in Sumiswald, not far from Bern. For one day – this year on 8 June – the tiny town in the Emmental valley hustles and bustles like it did 200 years ago in the days of Jeremias Gotthelf, an author and native of Emmental. Traditional handicrafts and textiles can be experienced and admired at the more than 160 market stalls. You can look over the shoulder of wood turners, saddlers, bookbinders or bobbin lace makers while they work and enjoy fine specialties from the region at the same time.
Open-Air Theater Moosegg
With a breathtaking backdrop high up on the Moosegg, two plays are performed in the open air each summer. This year the comedy operette “Schwarzwaldmädel” is on the program from 19 to 26 June, and the comedy “Chachelihannes” based on a short story by Emmental author Jeremias Gotthelf is planned for 5 July until 17 August. Our tip: Hotel Moosegg is the ideal spot to dine on culinary highlights from the region before the curtains go up.
Historic Artisans’ Market in Huttwil
Travel back in time with jugglers, sword and lance duels, shingle-makers, spinners and wainwrights on the weekend of 6 and 7 July during the historic Artisans’ Market in Huttwil. Visitors can watch the exhibitors at the marketplace work on medieval crafts, quench their thirst in the tavern, and enjoy the entertainment provided by musicians, jugglers and dancers as part of the extensive program of accompanying events.
This event in the Emmental valley offers a vehicle-free day of fun and adventure for all ages, both for those who love a good time and for exercise enthusiasts. Come out on 8 September 2019 and play, move, enjoy, feast and try out something new all along the 23-mile vehicle-free route between Sumiswald, Huttwil and Kleindietwil. Numerous on- and off-road activities include entertainment and refreshments and ensure an enjoyable day all around.
Return of the Cattle
The return of the cattle from the Alps is a very special late-summer event. The farmers and their stock return to the valley after four months up in the Alpine pastures. The animals are decorated with colorful flowers for the journey, and an Alpine herdsman festival greets the farmers. This traditional folk festival takes place on different weekends in September depending on the region. In Schwarzsee, for example, the cattle’s return is celebrated on 21 September.
Brächete Zäziwil Festival
This traditional folk festival features breaking, hackling, spinning and weaving the way they used to be done 200 years ago. The “Brächete” is the process of turning plant fibers such as linen and hemp into textiles. This ancient art is brought back to life on the last Wednesday in September – this year on the 25th – but visitors can expect even more. In addition to the traditional handicrafts, there will also be regional specialties such as fresh “Züpfe” braided bread, cheese and deep-fried “Schlüfchüechli” pastries for sale at the market stalls.
Cheese Market Huttwil
A weekend full of traditions – and lots and lots of cheese, of course. On 5 and 6 October national cheese-makers will display their products and invite visitors to taste and purchase their exquisite specialties. The attractive accompanying program includes local handicrafts and traditional musical entertainment.
Huttwil Christmas Market
The Christmas Market in the charming village of Huttwil is considered one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. The vast array of high-quality products on offer attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Huttwil each year. For those who have already purchased their gifts at some of the many stalls, the Christmas Market has even more to offer. Whether it is readings by candlelight, a nativity scene, musical performances or simply a delicious snack, the Christmas Market in Huttwil from 27 November to 1 December guarantees a very festive atmosphere.
On New Year’s Eve, the normally tranquil town of Laupen begins to vibrate. During the night of the “Achetringele”, a centuries-old custom, a group of figures disguised with wooden masks appears when the bell chimes eight o’clock and wanders through the streets. Using long brooms and loudly ringing bells, they drive out the evil spirits so that the inhabitants of Laupen can enjoy a peaceful start to the New Year. The traditional tumult of noise and action is a feast for the eyes and ears!
Ice Palaces Schwarzsee
Immerse yourself in a fairy-tale world of shimmering ice and colorful lights and let the enchantment begin. In a small forest just over a mile from Schwarzsee an impressive world of palaces, sculptures, caves and igloos – all made of ice – is created each year. The ice palaces of Schwarzsee can be viewed until 10 March 2019 and then again starting in mid-December (exact dates depend on the weather conditions). A wondrous winter adventure for the entire family!