It’s almost that time of year again, when the square in front of Switzerland’s federal government building becomes a sprawling, noisy, confetti-strewn, odiferous altar to all things onion.
Continuing a tradition dating from at least the 18th century, Bern’s annual Zibelemärit (Onion Market or Festival) takes place each year on the normally chilly fourth Monday of November. That day, steaming onion soup is a popular dish in the city’s restaurants.
This year the market is on the 27th, beginning as always for some reason at the ungodly hour of 6 in the morning, but thankfully continuing into the evening, finishing at 6:00pm. It’s onion heaven with stalls selling beautiful woven braids of onions, garlic and herbs, all displayed like lovely bad-breath guards against vampires.
Also for sale at the kiosks: hot mulled wine, onion and cheese quiches and tarts, onion sausages, onion soup and fine Swiss ceramics in which to put all your onion goodies. Bern’s Onion Market is a boisterous, colourful scene, including children of all ages throwing confetti in the streets.
The excitement peaks at 16:00 with Confetti Night.
And it’s free.
Date: Monday, 27 November 2017
Time: 6am until 6pm.
Location: Bundesplatz, Bern
By Bill Harby