Zürich - festivals not to miss by Mark Sukhija

Zürich has a rather odd mix of the annual traditional festivals like Sechseleuten to techno-loving Street Parade through to the very popular trienniel Zuerifaescht. But that does mean that there's something for everyone.

    Annual events

  1. Knabenschiessen - Knabenschiessen is a three-day annual shooting competition for Zürcher boys - the winner of which is crowned Schützenkönig ("Shooting King") for the year. For those less interested in shooting, it's also a great excuse for a fun fayre with all sorts of rides and games to be had for all ages. September.

  2. Sechseleuten - Annual procession of the Zunft ("Guilds") through Zürich culminating in the burning of the Böögg - aka Mr Winter. On the dot of 6 O'Clock, the Böögg is set alight and according to legend, the quicker the Böögg burns, the hotter summer will be. Fun procession in traditional costume even if the Böögg isn't that accurate weather-wise! April.

  3. Dörfli Fäscht - Live music, acts and bars through the cobbeldy streets and squares of Niederdorf district of Zürich . Fun and loud. August.

  4. Caliente - The largest celebration of Latin-American culture in the German speaking world. A large selection of bands and musical styles around Helvetiaplatz and the Langstrasse areas of Zürich June/July.

  5. Streetparade - Zürich 's largest and most outrageous event with 20-something "love-mobiles" blaring out techno and dance music through the city - each love-mobile sporting a selection of scantily clad people aboard. A major competitor to the now defunct "Love Parade" in Berlin, party-people from across Europe descend on Zürich for this annual three day event. Popular with part people, gays and persons with a penchant for being scantily or outrageously clad. Zürich as you've never seen it before. August.

  6. Expovina - Each year 12 ships and boats which usually ply Lake Zürich are moored at Bürkliplatz for an annual Wine Exposition. Importers, dealers and traders from all over Switzerland come to ply their wares - providing an excellent oppurtunity to sample a wide range of wines. November

  7. Every two years

  8. Langstrassenfest - Open air festival in the Zürich red-light district. Food stalls and a fun-fayre sit alongside bars with people spilling out into the streets. A heady cocktail of assorted foods, fun and an all round happening atmosphere. Next Langstrassenfest: August 2014.

  9. Every three years

  10. Zuerifaescht - Tri-annual festival which encompasses the whole of Zürich city. Food stalls, street entertainment and a plethora of rides ensure a good time for all. Two nights of fireworks over the lake set to music - one evening to classical music and one to popular music - are must sees but get there early to secure a good vantage point on the waterfront. Next Zuerifaescht: July 2016.

Related Posts

Switzerland - places not to miss Sixteen places not to miss around Switzerland
Züri Fäscht - Bürkliplatz Ferris wheel at Fraumünster at the 2013 Züri Fäscht
Züri Fäscht - Limmat River Limmat river running through Züri Fäscht
Züri Fäscht - Fireworks Saturday night fireworks at the Züri Fäscht 2013
Züri Fäscht - Ferris wheel at Fraumünster Ferris wheel at Fraumünster at the 2013 Züri Fäscht
Sechseläuten - Mr Böögg Mr Böögg gets at the Sechseläuten festival in Zürich
Sechseläuten - Mr Böögg being erected Mr Böögg being erected for the Sechseläuten festival in Zürich
Sechseläuten - Mr Böögg blows Mr Böögg gets blown up at the Sechseläuten festival in Zürich


Further reading

Sechseläuten - Mr Böögg on the pyre - Mr Böögg on the pyre in front of the Zürich Opera House

Zürich - recommended pubs and bars - Personally selected and recommended pubs and bars from around Zürich

Zürich Niederdorf - recommended restaurants, pubs and bars - Recommended restaurants, pubs and bars in Zürich's Niederdorf area

Zürich - recommended hotels - Recommended places to stay in and around Zürich city

Zürich - 9 great things to do - 9 great things to do when visiting Zürich, Switzerland

Zürich - a brief history of Fraumünster - A brief history of the elegant Fraumünster church in Zürich

Züri Fäscht - Limmat River - Limmat river running through Züri Fäscht

Züri Fäscht - Ferris wheel at Fraumünster - Ferris wheel at Fraumünster at the 2013 Züri Fäscht

Zürich - Zürich skyline - Skyline of Zürich seen from Quaibrücke including the spires of Grossmünster, Fraumünster and St Peters

Zürich - Fraumünster at sunset - Fraumünster and Limmat buildings seen at sunset

Zurich Tourism - Official website of Zurich Tourism Board

About Mark Sukhija

Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook