Zibelemärit (Onion Market)
The “Zibelemärit” (Bern-German for “Zwiebelmarkt,” or onion market) is another one of those lovely Swiss traditions that you need to experience to understand. Held on the fourth Monday in November each year and stretching over the upper part of the old town, it is actually the largest market in all of Bern. It has been immortalized on a postage stamp in 2003, and on a CHF 10 coin in 2011. At this market, you can get a large assortment of onion braids, onion wreaths, onion figurines, as well as onion decorations of all imaginable kinds. There are also a lot of food stands offering—you guessed it—onion specialties, such as onion soup, onion pizza, onion sausages, and onion pies. Other stalls feature textiles, jewelry, ceramics, and toys.
The event officially starts at 6:00 and runs until 18:00, but people come from all over to experience this unique pre-Christmas event, and the first sales are usually made as early as 4:00. For the young or young-at-heart, the highlight of the festival is the “Konfettischlacht” (confetti fight) that starts at 16:00 and turns the old-town alleys into a sea of colors. So, if you have been planning a visit to Bern, why not get a glimpse at one of Bern’s most traditional fairs?
There will be extra trains to Bern on this day to accommodate the high influx of people, but due to the market and confetti fight, many of the trams will not be running through town, necessitating a delightful short walk to the market grounds.