Arrivals & Departures Immerse yourself in tradition at Switzerland's oldest cultural festival

Reference: STS1235
Caption: Switzerland. get natural.
Swiss national Costume & Alpine Cowherds' Festival in Unspunnen near Interlaken, Bernese Oberland. Stone throwing with the 'Unspunnenstein'.

Schweiz. ganz natuerlich.
Schweizerisches Trachten- und Alphirtenfest in Unspunnen bei Interlaken, Berner Oberland. Steinstossen mit dem Unspunnenstein.

Suisse. tout naturellement.
Fete federale des costumes et des bergers a Unspunnen pres d'Interlaken, Oberland bernois. Lancer de pierre avec la celebre 'pierre d'Unspunnen'.

Copyright by: Switzerland Tourism By-Line: Sonderegger
Signature: Christof Sonderegger
Credit: Switzerland Tourism
Photo of Angie Tomlinson

A festival where wrestlers compete to throw a 76kg stone the furthest has to be seen, right?

Folk dancing, alphorn blowing and the throwing of a 76kg Unspunnen stone will be at the centre of Switzerland’s longest-standing traditional cultural festival.

Set to welcome 150,000 visitors, the Unspunnen Festival will take place from August 26 to September 3 in Interlaken.

Locals dress in traditional costume to play and compete in games and activities in a celebration of Swiss folklore.

The festival dates back to the 13th century, when it was set up to defuse tension between the city and the provinces, the government and its people. It was revived in 1805 and has been held 14 times since, the last in 2006.

The festival takes place at the foothills of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau summits, and between the lakes of Thun and Brienz.

Switzerland Tourism advises travellers attending the festival to book event tickets, Swiss Travel Passes and accommodation in advance to avoid disappointment. 

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