Crazy fun with onions. In Bern.


Today fellow blogger Jill and I headed to Bern for the Bern Onion Market (or Zibelemärit in the ridiculous local language). This is a festival that happens once a year in the Swiss capital to celebrate onions and the silly things you can do with them.

From what we saw, little old ladies and men must start making things out of onions months in advance to prepare for this one day. The creativity that went into this was evident in the wide variety of things made out of onions that were on display. Things that normal people like you or I would never consider making out of onions. Like fake clocks. And Mickey Mouse.

Both of us went into the experience hoping to actually get to consume some onions, but apparently it’s just not that kind of onion festival. The vast majority of the onions there were purely for decoration. After wandering around for quite a while (and drowning our frustrations with a couple of glasses of Glühwein), we finally found a couple stands selling freshly-made cheese and onion pies, which we enjoyed greatly.

Besides onions, the main appeal of the festival appeared to be the freedom to walk around assaulting complete strangers by either bopping them with plastic squeaky mallets or pelting them with a handful of colorful confetti. There were areas of the city where we were practically wading through confetti. It was on (and in) everything.

The combination of the noise, mess, and environmental-unfriendliness of the tons of confetti made the entire thing seem distinctly non-Swiss. I’m thinking this must be their way of letting loose.

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8 thoughts on “Crazy fun with onions. In Bern.

  1. Hey, I went too! Too bad that this wasnt known beforehand, it would’ve been so nice to meet. write me sometime if you’re out exploring switzerland, I always like to go to new things.
    the onion creatures give me the creeps!

  2. Oh God, I hope Sal doesn’t see this…he’ll be doing this kind of thing with coconuts if he does :)

    It looks like fun though. We don’t get anything interesting happening here until Chinese New Year.

  3. Every year, when I find out about the onion festival a couple of days after that year’s onion festival, I say to myself that we’re going to have to go to next year’s festival. I guess we missed it…again.
    DAMMIT!

  4. I was there too! It was definitely the thing for expat bloggers to be doing on Monday.

    The Zibelemaerit (too lazy to switch my keyboard to German) is always the fourth Monday in November, so you won’t miss it next year!

  5. didn’t say anything about it being so fun that I need to return again next year…

    Although, it could be fun if all us expat blogger types actually met up there next time. I’ll see you at the stand selling the ballerinas made out of onions at 3:30 PM. Deal?

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