Surrounded by the lush rolling farmland and imposing cliffs of the Swiss Mittelland, Burgdorf in the Emmental Valley is the very picture of an authentic Switzerland of times gone by, thanks to a well-preserved mediaeval town, 800-year old castle and a famous cheese.
Burgdorf is also the spiritual home of some of Switzerland’s quirkier sporting traditions, which will be showcased in their full glory at the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival (ESAF) from 30th August to 1st September 2013.
Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival 2013One of the largest festivals in Switzerland, ESAF 2013 is a chance to discover the rich traditions of the canton‘s farmhouse-scattered landscape. Visitors can expect a diverse array of attractions, with traditional dress, food and culture on show.
But while the folk festival atmosphere makes the event seem like a celebration of the rustic pace of rural Emmental life, there‘s nothing quaint about the sports.
The SchwingfestThe highlight of the weekend is the Schwingen tournament, which sees the sport of Swiss wrestling elevated from a farmer‘s past-time to a thoroughly modern elite sport.
Taking pride of place in front of a crowd of thousands in the Emmental Arena, competitors of this rough and tumble Swiss variant of wrestling pit their strength against their opponents, aiming to dump them in the sawdust.
The victor‘s spoils echo the rural roots of the sport and include a young bull, a cowbell and artisanal furniture, though winning is no less prestigious for the lack of a shiny trophy.
„ Switzerland‘s quirkier sporting traditions will be showcased in their full glory at the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival 2013.
Swiss sport at its finestIf wrestling isn‘t to your taste, then there’s Hornussen and Steinstossen to discover (for the uninitiated, that‘s a mixture of golf and baseball, and a kind of shot-put with an enormous glacial boulder, respectively.)
And once you‘ve got to grips with the rules of these obscure but fascinating sports, the famed Emmentaler hospitality will make sure you enjoy the festivities well into the small hours.
Win a VIP experience at ESAF 2013Win a ticket for the VIP Muni-Arena and spend an unforgettable day out at the Swiss Wrestling and Alpine Festival 2013 with your guests. 3 tables for 4 guests are up for grabs, worth over 3400 CHF each. This exclusive VIP experience includes:
- All-inclusive breakfast, midday banquet & dinner
- Authentic atmosphere withVIP style
- ½ day tickets for the sold-out wrestling arena
- Entertainment from Oeschs die Dritten
- Celebrity meet-and-greet with Didier Cuche, Adrian Käser and Melanie Oesch
- Exclusive photo session with the winner‘s bull
- Live TV broadcast from the wrestling arena