Switzerland has numerous festivals and events through the year. Here, I'll give you just the top 10 which I reckon are amongst the most noteworthy. This list is by no means definative so get in touch if theres something you think I've missed.
Basler Fasnacht - Basler would have you believe that Fasnacht are "the three most wonderful days" in any calendar. And they'd not be far wrong. Kicking off with "Morgenstreich" at 4 am on Monday and continuing until 4 am Thursday, this is an intoxicating mix of piccolos and politics comes replete with huge lanterns and a Monster Concert on the Tuesday evening. Be sure to wander the streets discovering the wandering picollo players. Feb / March
White Turf, St Moritz - The frozen lake of St Moritz is home to Switzerlands premier equestrian event. Gallops, trots and a fast and furious ski-joring event over varying distances against a mountainous backdrop is quite a remarkable setting. To my knowledge, White Turf is the only event in the world where Ski-Joring with horses is practised professionally. Feb / March
Zürich Street Parade - A feast of techno and dance music. Several "Love Mobiles" pump out techno and dance music along the shore front of Lake Zürich in what has to be loudest festival in Zürich . Assorted dancers and other scantily-clad types adorn the "Love Mobiles" and the streets of Zürich . Not really my cup of tea - but there's some great pictures to be had. August
Rapperswil Blues n Jazz - Rappi Blues n Jazz festival is one of my favorite Swiss festivals. Intimately set in the three squares of Rapperswil's Old Town, Rapperswil invariably attracts a convivial and knowledgable crowd and excellent artists, including Roger Chapman in 2008. June
Montreux Jazz Festival - Probably Switzerlands most well-known festival attracting top-flight artists from around the world. Tickets sell out well in advance and hotels prices, already pricey in Montreux, tick up - so book well in advance. July
Appenzell Landsgemeinde - Open-air parliament where the citizens of Appenzell Innerhoden gather in the main square of the picture-postcard old town to elect their council leaders and vote on matters of concern for the coming year. One of the most accessible aspects of genuine Swiss "Direct Democracy" in action. April.
Combat des Reines - Each year the farmers of Canton Valais bring their Heren-breed of cows through several local rounds of combat to find the Queen of the Cows. All this culminates in the Cantonal Final which establishes the Queen of the Cows in the whole Canton who is then adorned with flowers and a giant cow bell. Of course, it's not all entertainment as the value of the ultimate winner is increased by some tens-of-thousands of Francs. This is no bull fight or running of the bulls as in Spain as the naturally agressive Herens fight each other to establish the social structure of their herd. Throughout spring.
Fêtes de Vedanges, Neuchâtel - Neuchâtel Fêtes de Vedanges is a wine festival dressed as a street party. Or is that the other way round? We're talking three days of wall-to-wall recent Neuchâtelois wine from a plethora of food stalls. The fair ground also has the compulsary set of dodgems. Well we know where that leads. And it can't be encouraged. September
Liestal Chienbaesen - Certainly the most firey festival I've ever been to - as bonfires of pinewood chips are paraded through the Old Town of Liestal. Often the fires will reach the height of the houses bringing bright light and warmth into the otherwise chilly winter evening. Perch yourself on bridge at Rathausstrasse for an intimate and close-up view of the goings on. Definate family event - but excerise due care and attention. Feb / March
L'Escalade, Geneva - A prominent Genevois festivals, L'Escalade is a celebration of the 1602 defeat of the Savoyards who were trying to scale the walls (hence the name) of Geneva on the night of the 11th of December (the longest night of the year). Throughout the old town of Geneva , "troops" in traditional military garb march through to town bearing, and firing, armaments of the time. The Proclamation of the Defeat of the Savoyard troops is read at various points in the old town during a procession of troops including cavalry. December
Zibelmärit, Berne - Bernes Onion Market is one the most famous food markets in Switzerland and runs for the full day from 5 am to 6 pm. Onions of a variety of shapes and sizes are skillfully arranged to a plethora of decorative styles for you to buy to take home for decorative purposes or, god-forbid, actually cook. November.
Neuchâtel - where to stay - Personal recommendations on where to stay in Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Switzerland - recommended hotels - Recommended hotels in Berne, Fribourg, Lugano, Neuchâtel and Rapperswil
Rapperswil - What a visitor to Rapperswil needs to know
Zürich - recommended hotels - Recommended places to stay in and around Zürich city
Berne - recommended restaurants - Recommended places to eat and drink in the Swiss capital city Berne
Zürich - recommended pubs and bars - Personally selected and recommended pubs and bars from around Zürich
Zürich - bread basket at the train station market - Selection of breads on sale at the Wednesday market at Zürich main station
Zürich - cheese stall at the market - Selection of cheese on sale at the Wednesday market at Zürich main station
Zürich - market stall the Hauptbahnhof - Cheese on sale at the Wednesday market at Zürich main station
Zürich - sausage at the station market - Selection of sausages on sale at the Wednesday market at Zürich main station
Basel Tourismus - Official website of Basel City Tourism
Baselland Tourismus - Official website of Basel Land Tourism
Bern Tourism - Official website of Bern Tourism
Geneva Tourism - Official website of Geneva Tourist Board
Montreux Riviera - Official website of Montreux-Vevey Tourism
Neuchâtel Tourism - Official website of Neuchâtel Tourism
Rapperswil-Jona - Highlights of Rapperswil-Jona from the Verkersverein Rapperswil-Jona
St Moritz - Official website of St. Moritz Tourist Information
Switzerland Tourism - Official website of the Switzerland Tourism Office
Zurich Tourism - Official website of Zurich Tourism Board
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