Timing your hikes to coincide with a festival makes your hike-cation a chock-full of fun. So why don’t you go do exactly that? All you have to do is pick any of the following events and schedule your trek to the Swiss Alps accordingly.
Canton Vaud: Tulip Festival
Beginning the first day of April, flower lovers should flock to the Parc de L’Independance at Morges to enjoy the sight of 12,000 colorful blooms of over 300 varieties blooming in artful clusters. There will be about 80 market stands open in the area come April 8-9, while culinary delights from Turkey take the spotlight from April 29 to 30. There is no charge involved, save if you buy something from the stands there.
Zermatt: Zermatt Unplugged
This is the tenth year of the “unique acoustic music festival” in the famed skiing hub. The main acts performing at the festival, which begins on April 4 and lasts until April 8, are Michael Bolton, Stephan Eicher, Jess Glynne, Nelly Furtado, and Paolo Nutini. KT Tunstall has also been listed as one of the performers in this year’s staging.
There will be about 13 stages in the village, some of which may be at “dizzying heights.” With that many settings, you’re sure to be able to find one with the atmosphere and music to your liking.
Effingen: Eierleset (Easter Tradition)
On April 8, the Canton of Aargau’s Effingen will be hosting an traditional egg-citing event involving eggs, obviously. The main event is the relay race where those participating should collect as many eggs as they can. The festivities are said to attract about a thousand spectators. However, since the preparations for this event are quite extensive and elaborate, the festival is held every other year. If you don’t go check it out this year, you’ll have to wait until 2019 to witness this ancient tradition.
The streets are filled with merrymaking during this event, but the celebrations don’t stop there. There still is a party in the evening, this time at the gymnasium.
Romont: Les Pleureuses (Wailing Women)
At Romont (Canton of Fribourg), there’s an annual tradition that commemorates the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. If you’re a Christian, this is an apt event to go to when coming down from a hike in the Swiss Alps.
The procession of the “wailing women” takes place after the Good Friday rite. It consists of a “cross bearer, whose head is covered with a piece of black cloth, and 20 veiled women, also dressed in black.” The women are preceded by a young girl who plays the Virgin Mary. The ladies bring with them the tools used for the crucifixion, chanting and saying prayers as they go around the town tracing the fourteen stations of the cross.
Thun: Swiss Artists Exchange
If you’re into vaudeville-ish acts and cabaret shows, Thun is the place to go from April 20 to 23. The town, situated in the Canton of Bern, is host to the biggest gathering of artists from Switzerland and other countries (over 300) specializing in the small arts, comedy gigs, and cabaret shows. There are dance artists showcasing their performances and even puppeteers regaling their audiences with their impeccable skills.
The event also is a trade fair of sorts, helping artists and contacts in the entertainment industry connect with each other. This year will be the 58th staging of the festival.
Zurich: Sechseläuten (Six O’Clock Chimes)
This annual festival’s highlight is the burning of the Böögg, which is basically a strawman used to symbolize winter. The event heralds the coming of spring, hence the burning of the said straw figure. However, before the burning happens, a lot of things take place starting on April 21 until the fateful day of the incineration, which is on the 24th. There are balls and festivities where people come dressed in various costumes (theme: traditional and historic).
These are not the only carnivals happening in the country in April, but you may find the above-mentioned close to your hiking destination or starting point. Let us know if you’ve been to any of these recently!