National Swiss Winegrowers Day is a colorful and timeless celebration of the Swiss associated with winemaking. People dress up in amazing costumes to represent different aspects of working in the vineyards, such as insects (ants, grasshoppers, ladybugs) and pests (slugs or starlings), as well as young lovers frolicking among the vines and portraying drought, a real disaster for winegrowers!
National Swiss Winegrowers Day has been organized by the Brotherhood of Vinegrowers (Confrerie des Vignerons) in the town square in the city of Vevey, on the shores of Lake Geneva, since 1797. The frequency of the festival is determined by the organizing committee, but is usually held once every generation, with the interval between two festivals being between 14 and 28 years. The last one took place in July and August 2019, 20 years after the previous one (1999).
Vevey is close to the famous Swiss terraced vineyards, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2016, the UN cultural agency classified the holiday itself as part of the “intangible cultural heritage” of Switzerland.
The festival budget is allocated to the construction of a special arena, large enough to accommodate up to 1 million people from all over the world. This place overlooking the lake hosts an Olympic or Super Bowl style show with dancers, music and other performances. The 2019 festival featured 5500 dancers, actors and extras, and the centerpiece was occupied by awards given to outstanding winemakers.
On the National Swiss Winegrowers Day:
- The anthem of the festival is always played – the old Alpine song Ranz des Vaches.
- All 26 cantons (regions) of the country participate.
- In the 2019 festival performance, the story of winemaking was told from the point of view of a little girl named Julie.
How to take part
You can take part in National Swiss Winegrowers Day by watching the broadcast of the festival and sipping wines from Swiss vineyards – it will be a great evening!
When is National Swiss Winegrowers Day Celebrated in 2024?
National Swiss Winegrowers Day is devoted to celebrating cheerfulness and fun. It happens annually on August the 29th.