Alpine Festivities

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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.

"Suufsunntig"

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.

"Suufsunntig" gets under way at 11 o'clock with food and drink, yodelling, Alpine horn playing and mountain prayers.
"Suufsunntig" gets under way at 11 o'clock with food and drink, yodelling, Alpine horn playing and mountain prayers.

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)
Visitors experience real Alpine customs by attending a cattle auction.
Visitors experience real Alpine customs by attending a cattle auction.

Cattle Auctions

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.

  • Gummberg Alp, Grund bei Gstaad
    Each year in early August

  • Hornberg Alp, Saanenmöser
    Every second Saturday in August

Please refer to the Events Calendar for the precise dates.

Transhumance, the moving of cattle to summer pastures, is consciously not marketed in the holiday region of Gstaad.
Transhumance, the moving of cattle to summer pastures, is consciously not marketed in the holiday region of Gstaad.

Alpine Transhumance

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.

Recommended reading
"Z'barg in the Saanenland, Wege zum Alpkäse Band 5", published by Weber AG Verlag Thun.

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Gstaad

The region has a further 9 chalet villages alongside Gstaad, located at an altitude of between 1,000 and 1,400 metres. Yet despite its style and class, Gstaad has remained genuinely Alpine and down-to-earth. It is proud of its tradition and lives and breathes it every day.

Over a thousand cultural and sporting events are available to visitors every year, including top events with an international reputation. In addition, visitors will find first-class hotels, outstanding shopping facilities along the traffic-free promenade and an airport in Saanen.

Contact

Gstaad Saanenland Tourismus
Promenade 41
CH - 3780 Gstaad
Tel +41 33 748 81 81
Fax +41 33 748 81 83
info@gstaad.ch

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