Farmers in the Gstaad holiday region celebrate a number of traditional Alpine festivities during the summer. These festivities epitomise Alpine life as it really is, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable experience. Three highlights you shouldn't miss.
In July and August the farmers of the Saanenland celebrate their traditional Alpine festival, "Suufsunntig", or drinking Sunday! However, you would be wrong in thinking that this is all about excessive alcohol consumption. Traditionally a "Schlugg" is first drunk – a by-product of cheese, with a consistency similar to yoghurt.
A glass of wine naturally awaits you. The day gets under way around eleven o'clock with food and drink, yodelling, Alpine horn playing and mountain prayers. The unequivocal highlight of the afternoon is the crowning of the festively decorated prize cow, the Meisterkuh. The proud owner of the prize-winning cow then offers a round of white wine to everyone there. The festivities continue with music and dance until late in the evening.
Alps with "Suufsunntig" festivals
- Vorderer Walig, Feutersoey (First Sunday in July)
- Plani, Schönried (Second Sunday in August)
- Wispile, Gstaad (Fourth Sunday in July)
- Hornberg, Saanenmöser (First Sunday in August)
- Chüetungel, Lauenen (First Sunday in August)
- Blatti, Lauenen (Last Sunday in August)
- Gspan, Schönried (Third Sunday in August)
- Haseloch, Saanenmöser (Second Sunday in July)
Cattle auctions are traditional Alpine festivities at which farmers sell cattle to the highest bidder. These are opportunities for visitors staying in the area to experience this lively tradition at first hand.
Farmers decide at short notice, based on the weather conditions, when to drive their cattle from the valley up to the Alpine pastures and back again. In the holiday region of Gstaad, this event, known as "Züglete" or transhumance, is deliberately not marketed as a tourist attraction. On the contrary, experiencing this genuine element of Alpine life is the icing on the cake of any stay in Gstaad. The Saanenland has around 80 working high-Alpine farms and some 200 Alpine dairies – die highest alp is the Obere Trüttlisberg at 2,006 above sea level.
"Z'barg in the Saanenland, Wege zum Alpkäse Band 5", published by Weber AG Verlag Thun.