Eventful January around Switzerland
Happy New Year and 2023 is finally here. Some of us have made our skiing trips, and others are still trying to enjoy skiing during this springy weather. Slowly, the holiday rush is ending, but planning a new visit is always fun. Around Switzerland, January is always eventful, and we would love to share some of the most exciting happenings with you.
Appenzell Silvesterkläuse ; Dec 31 2022 and Jan 13 2023
Appenzell’s New Year tradition is to dress up in costumes and wear elaborate masks and headdresses. Then, with song and dance, they visit private homes to wish them a happy new year. Processions in Urnäsch and nearby villages continue celebrations into the evening.
Here the actual welcome of the New Year happens twice. And if you did not manage to visit on the 31st, do not miss this exciting tradition on January 13 (actually welcome of the new year by the Julian Calendar)
It is polite to observe and take pictures, but please stay away from the performers and private homes to avoid disturbing them.
Three Kings Day – January 6 2023
Bakers and groceries sell special bread in the days leading up to the Three Kings Day holiday on January 6. One of the bread rolls contains a figurine of Jesus or a king and several other bread rolls in a circle. For the day, the person who finds it is King (or Queen). People can wear the paper crown that comes with the bread. As King/Queen, you decide what special treatment they’ll receive, usually no home chores or maybe some special treatment from the family.
This tradition is most common around GR, LU, SZ, TI &UR.
Lilu Light Festival Lucerne Jan 12 -22, 2023
Various artists built about 20 creative light installations in Lucerne in early January. Visitors are welcome every night during the festival at 18:00 with the lights on. Tickets are required for two indoor light and music shows each night. Lights are on every evening for 18h to 22h, most located around the old town and the lake promenade. More detailed information is available at the organizer’s website.
Grindelwald world snow festival – Jan 16-21 2023
Over five days in January, the Grindelwald village hosts a snow festival, where artist teams create sculptures from snow blocks. The Eiger+ plaza in the village centre is a great place to watch teams in action. You’ll be able to see more sculptures if you visit during the last couple of days—more info on the organizer’s website. Keep your fingers crossed for enough snow and a grand spectacle.
Murten Light Festival – Jan 18-29 2023
Visiting 20 light installations around the small village of Murten during the January light festival is another unique experience. In addition to the festival, floating lanterns can be decorated, filled with wishes, and launched on the lake (CHF 5 per lantern). Separate tickets are required for the 20-minute light show at the Deutschekirche. More info
Geneva Lux Festival – Jan 27 to Feb 8 , 2023
And if you are located around the Geneva region, take advantage of the end of January of the Geneva Lux Festival. Each year, Geneva hosts a festival of lights with over 20 light installations along the lakeshore in the city centre. Four routes are suggested, including a shorter family route and a route to see the new installations.
These are some of the events we managed to gather, but many more are coming in the upcoming days.
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