GENEVA, Switzerland – Every year, after a long and parma-gray winter, Genevans gather up to wish winter away and celebrate the arrival of spring. The celebration, known as Bonhomme Hiver, takes place across the canton and is usually organized by neighborhood associations.
While some neighborhoods throw better parties than others, they all offer the basics: a parade and a bonfire in which kids and grownups alike “burn old winter away”. Concerts, communal soup, mulled wine and dancing are optional.
Here the upcoming dates and celebrations around the city and canton, and a bit beyond:
- 24 March: Concorde
- 24 March: Cropettes (Grottes)
- 24 March: Plan-les-ouates (largest one in the canton, it includes grilling and concerts, over 1,000 people showed up in 2016)
- 24 March: St Jean/Charmilles
- 24 March: Versoix
- 31 March: Champel
Zurich hosts the largest celebration of this kind in Switzerland, as part of its spring festival or Sechseläuten. The celebration includes a large parade, horse riders, and a “Böögg” explosion (see video). This year, it takes place on 24 April.