It seems there is a festival for everything in Europe!? I recently wrote a guest blog post about about my favorite festivals in Europe, and I was asked if I had been to the Onion Festival in Bern, Switzerland.? Onion Festival?? Sounds really interesting.? At first I imagined a festival of culinary delights featuring any and every dish made with onions.? While the festival does boast some amazing street food like cheese and onion pies (yum, and a second yum because I am Australian and have a genetic obsession with savory pies), the festival is also filled with over 700 stalls selling anything and everything made from onions.? You can buy onion wall decorations, onion ornaments, onion toys…..and the list goes on.
The festival is held only one day each year, on the fourth Monday in November.? Over 50 tones of onions are brought into Bern specifically for the festival, so I can only imagine the pungent smell that encases the town!? The local Bernese are all about this festival, and people come from all over just to experience this once a year celebration.? The festival originated in the mid 1800?s when a newly built railway made it easy for farmers to transport their onions into town, and sell them in local markets.? This flood of onions into Bern sparked the beginnings of a now very large festival that draws a huge crowd, and now involves live bands, street performers, prizes, and plenty of Swiss spirit!? While I wish I could speak from first hand experience, I unfortunately have not graced the Bern Zibele-M?rit (German for Onion Festival).? BUT, after hearing about this intriguing festival solely based on celebrating the onion, I am excited to one day visit Switzerland in November, and see the Onion Festival in action first hand.? After all, I cook with onions almost everyday.? They deserve to be a recognized and celebrated vegetable!
So, if you happen to be in the process of planning an amazing tour to Europe this November, consider adding a few tears of ?onion joy? to your trip, and visit Bern on the third Monday in November!