For a nation whose name is often used in conjunction with ‘keeping the peace’, Switzerland sure knows how to party when it comes to festivals.
One of the country’s longest running cultural festivals, Unspunnen, has been happening annually since the 13th Century, so we figure something’s going right with it. Indeed, as much as it is rooted in traditional culture and leisure pursuits, Unspunnen is a spin-out of a festival, with some of its things-to-do bordering on madcap.
Set to welcome a record 150,000 visitors, this year’s Unspunnen will take place from August 26 – September 3 amid the stunning landscape that is Interlaken, and will offer local and visitors alike a plethora of activities, from traditional/folk-like (dancing, intense wrestling) to the quirky and contemporary (eg: dare-devil watersports).
Director of Switzerland Tourism, Mark Wettstein, says the festival is one of the most exciting celebrations of Swiss folklore in the country, involving many traditional elements and activities while doing a dandy good job at appealing to fresher generations.”The endless folk music, dancing, parades, games and activities will no doubt transport visitors back in time to get a taste of the country’s impressive history, culture and wealth of traditions that have been so well preserved by the different Swiss cantons,” says Mark.
The origin of the Unspunnen dates back to the 13th century with the key purpose of defusing tension and conflict between the city and the provinces, and the government and its people. Nowadays, visitors incorporate the festival into their wider Swiss itinerary to enjoy the sprawling playground that has given Interlaken and the Jungfrau Region their reputation as the country’s adventure capital.