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Onion Festival in Switzerland

Onion Festival Art in Bern

Onion Souvenir made for Bern Onion Festival

Have you ever heard of the Onion Festival in Bern, Switzerland? Well, a reader of my blog, Mona Bhavsar, recently introduced me to the Bern Onion Festival when she sent me photos of some really cute and fun onion art from this event!

I just love learning new things from my readers, especially about unique food art ideas. I thought these photos were great because I had never thought of using or decorating onions in this way. I wanted to share the photos with you because these cute and clever onion figurines from the Bern Onion Festival are sure to make you smile.

An Ode to Onions at the Annual Onion Festival in Bern, Switzerland

Can you pronounce “Zibelemärit”? This is the Swiss German word for “Onion Market” – a one day onion festival that takes place in Bern (the capital city of Switzerland) on every fourth Monday in November.

I learned that the Onion Festival has several origins. Some sources say that it dates back to the 19th century when the newly built railroad made it easier for farmers to transport their onions to the city. Some say the Onion Festival started as a reward for farmers who helped to clean the city of Bern after a fire.

Either way, today the Onion Festival is a fun event that attracts visitors to Bern from all over Switzerland. On this day, farmers set up over 600 booths to sell onion souvenirs that they’ve hand crafted. These unique creations can be anything from onion dolls to onion animals, wreaths and bouquets. Visitors can also enjoy some delicious food from vendors like fresh cheese and onion pies. Yum! The amount of onions used for the Bern Onion Festival is over 46 tons!

Onion Festival Market in Bern

Farmers display their creations at the Bern Onion Market

Onion displays at Onion Festival in Bern

Onion decorations made by farmers at the Bern Onion Festival

So what kind of art can you make with onions? You might be surprised!

Onion Art at the Bern Onion Festival in Switzerland

Here are some photos of the unique onion art found at the Bern Onion Festival:

Onion Clocks at Bern Onion Festival

Onion clocks for sale at the Festival

Harry Patter at Bern Onion Festival

Harry Potter fans would like this one!

Onion babies at Bern Onion Festival

Each display is carefully handcrafted with great detail

Onion Dolls at Bern Onion Festival

Cute dolls made from onions

Onion Hockey Players at Bern Onion Festival

The onion faces are cute but check out the knitted clothing!


My Onion Art in Honour of the Bern Onion Festival

Are you a fan of onions? Apparently, the Swiss are not the only people who love onions enough to honour this vegetable with its own festival. I learned that at there are annual onion festival celebrations in Hawaii, India and several states in the US.

I am an onion fan myself and speaking of onion art, I’d like to share with you my onion lotus carvings:

Onion Festival Onion Lotuses

Onion lotus flowers taught in Nita’s Vegetable and Fruit Carving Video lessons

It’s a little different from the onion decorations you saw at the Onion Festival! This is actually a carving technique taught in my Vegetable and Fruit Carving Course 101.

Here are some really pretty onion lotuses made by Simon, a student of my course. Simon made these after watching my online video lessons:

Onion Lotus for Onion Festival post

Onion Lotus carvings made by Simon after watching Nita’s Video lessons

If you want to learn how to do this, check out my Onion Lotus Flowers DVD, along with other carving lessons and tools, in my online shop. This DVD is available separately or as Lesson 1 of my 11 Week Vegetable and Fruit Carving Course for Beginners. In the full 11 week course, you’ll learn to make bouquets and carvings out of melons, peppers, root vegetables and more!

By the way, if you’re new to my blog and just want to learn an easy carving, check out my free lesson on how to carve a radish flower and make a bouquet.

Anyway, my point is that fruit and vegetables can definitely make attractive displays – yes, even onions –  like we saw at the Onion Festival in Switzerland. If you want to check out another really cool festival that uses tons of lemons and oranges to make amazing art, take a look at my previous post about the Lemon Festival in France.

Thanks for joining me for our tour of the Bern Onion Festival in Switzerland!

Learn to carve like a pro

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One Response to Onion Festival in Switzerland

  1. Mrs.Pillai March 18, 2012 at 11:38 pm #

    Thank You SO MUCH , Nitha..

    That was really a grand ONION MELA… and I wish them a great success…

    Thanks and Regards,

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