Zibelemärit


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

Zibelemärit (the onion market) is a traditional folk festival in the City of Bern that takes place every year on the fourth Monday in November. Farmers bring around fifty tons of onions and garlic into the federal capital, and sell them on the innumerable market stands set up on the Bundesplatz square and in the narrow streets between the town hall and the train station. The range on offer includes the traditional braided onions, flower arrangements, decorations and figures sculpted from onions. Other market stands offer seasonal vegetables, bread, hot mulled wine (Glühwein) and souvenirs. The ceramics trade is represented too, providing a reminder of the Chacelimärit, an earlier market for the famous peasant-style pottery from Bern. The onion market evolved from the St Martin's day market of the Middle Ages and now attracts more visitors than any other traditional event in the canton, with crowds flooding the area from 5 am. The restaurants in the area serve traditional savoury onion tart, cheese tart and onion soup. The market is also well known for the confetti fights that take place and for its funfair. There are a number of legends relating to the origins of the market. Folklorist Rudolf J. Ramseyer believes that it dates back to the mid-19th century and that it represents the remnants of the St Martin's fair, an event which lasted two weeks.

Image gallery

  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Bundesplatz © Bern Tourismus
  • The Merkur shop window during the 1933 Zibelemärit, photo by Carl Jost © Fotobestand Carl Jost, Staatsarchiv Bern
  • Zibelemärit in 1930, photo by Carl Jost © Fotobestand Carl Jost, Staatsarchiv Bern
  • A little girl sitting on a huge pile of onions (Bern, 1926) (Bern, 1926) © Unbekannter Fotograf/Staatsarchiv des Kantons Bern, FN DG7
  • The traditional onion market is held each year on the fourth Monday in November (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • In 2017 the market hosted 648 stands – 83 applicants were turned down due to lack of space (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Onions are sold at 171 stands (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Onions of all colours (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Three market stands featuring Bernese ceramics provide a reminder of the Chachelimärit, a former market for local potters (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • The savoury onion tart is a traditional feature of the onion market (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Tens of thousands of visitors from all over Switzerland come to Bern on this day (2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • There are also lots of people – young and old – in Münstergasse (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • The confetti fight has not even started yet (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Fun with confetti (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Children love the plastic hammers; adults, not so much (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • Just under 57 tonnes of onions were sold in 2017, a little less than the record of 60 tonnes set in 2014 (Bern, 2017) © kultur-projekte.ch
  • The head organiser of the 2017 onion market in Berner Bär, Bern’s weekly newspaper of 28.11.2017 © Berner Bär
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Onions © Bern Tourismus
  • Zibelemärit: Bundesplatz © Bern Tourismus
  • The Merkur shop window during the 1933 Zibelemärit, photo by Carl Jost © Fotobestand Carl Jost, Staatsarchiv Bern
  • Zibelemärit in 1930, photo by Carl Jost © Fotobestand Carl Jost, Staatsarchiv Bern

Video

Zibelemärit (Schweizer Filmwochenschau Nummer 648 vom 26.11.1954) © Schweizer Filmwochenschau

References and documentation

Publications
  • Alfred Beck: Meitschimärit. In: Dr Märit z Bärn. Geschichten, Episoden, Verse und Bilder rund um die Berner Märkte. Ed. Hans Erpf, Mario Barisi. Bern, 1982, p. 85-87

  • Werner Bula: Es Zibelemäritgschichtli. In: Ds bärndütsche Gschichtebuech. Bern, 1981, p. 75-86

  • Hans Erpf: Dr Zibelemärit. Eine kleine Geschichte rund um die Zwiebel und den Berner Zibelemärit nebst zahlreichen schmackhaften Zwiebelrezepten. Mit einer Betrachtung zum «Tag der Zwiebel» von Ueli der Schreiber. Bern, 1977

  • Ueli der Schreiber: Der 23. November. Tag der Zwiebel. In: Dr Märit z Bärn. Geschichten, Episoden, Verse und Bilder rund um die Berner Märkte. Ed. Hans Erpf, Mario Barisi. Bern, 1982, p. 72-73

  • Peter Tschanz: Vor 75, 50 und 25 Jahren. Zibelemärit im Wandel der Zeiten. In: Dr Märit z Bärn. Geschichten, Episoden, Verse und Bilder rund um die Berner Märkte. Ed. Hans Erpf, Mario Barisi. Bern, 1982, p. 75-77

  • Hans Erpf: Dr Zibelemärit und rund um die Zwiebel von A-Z. Mit über 100 Rezepten. Münsingen, 1990

  • Rudolf J. Ramseyer: Zibelemärit, Martinimesse. Langnau, 1990

  • Iris Minder: Der Zibelemärit. 27.11.1989. Eine Volkskundliche Untersuchung über das heutige Erscheinungsbild. Bern, 1991

  • Edith Schweizer-Völker: Schweizer Volksfeste. Vevey, 1995

Documentation
  • Zibelemärit

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 28.06.2018
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