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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Wengen Cheese Festival 25th Anniversary



Tables were decorated with real sunflowers and ivy.




Locally made brats




Bacon Rösti



I always look forward to the pumpkin soup. Yummy!


Black Forest Cake originated in Switzerland. It resembles the hat worn by women in the Appenzell region.


"Migros conducted a survey to see what the favorite cake of Switzerland was. It’s a rare thing indeed for the whole country to be in agreement – but when it comes to Switzerland’s favorite cake, the verdict seems clear: Black Forest Cake. Black Forest Cake is the most popular cake in all of Switzerland’s language regions, with 23 per cent of respondents naming it as their favorite, particularly those aged over 60."


The Wengen bell ringers are led in by the cheese maker and his family.




Criteria to join the club: able to walk long distances swinging a huge bell, have rhythm, ring a bell that weighs anywhere from 2 to 16 pounds, and have a passion for being part of the community.







Steinstossen is the Swiss variant of stone put, of throwing a heavy stone overhead for the longest distance.


Three categories: men's. women's and children's - winner in each category wins a large wheel of cheese. This is a sport to be taken seriously.



There was a cheese demonstration. Forty liters of milk for one round of cheese.





Love sampling the whey. When the cows are at the high pastures during summer, the whey is not poured out but fed to the pigs.


Whey is an alternative source of high-quality protein for fattening pigs. It can supply one-third of their protein needs. At the same time whey is an important by-product of the cheese producers, as it represents approximately 70 to 80 % of the milk volume. Collaboration of organic cheese companies with the nearby organic farms can be mutually beneficial.


The Wengen dancers have only recently reorganized.








The alphorn players have been playing together for 20 years. A couple of them live in Germany but they get together at certain times of the year. The Wengen Cheese Festival is one of those times.


About 3.5 meters long, weighing up to eight kilograms, conical, and bent like a cow horn at the end – it is the musical instrument of Switzerland: the Alphorn.






An instrument fashioned from whatever was on hand, talerschwingen involves rotating a five franc coin in a bowl. It first appeared some time after 1900 in the canton of Appenzell and the Toggenburg region. The player rolls the coin slowly in an earthenware bowl, and bowls with three different diameters are used in order to vary the tone, which brings to mind the sound of cow bells!


Wengen band





There was a discussion on the traditional dress of the area. This woman was from Lauterbrunnen.


Every village has their own traditional clothing.


There are many rules to follow regarding traditional dress. Every piece of clothing must fit perfectly.


The young girl was the mistress of ceremony for all the events. She translated between Swiss German and English. She did a fantastic job. Her dress comes from Bern.


The bottom of the dress has red ribbon. The dress has two layers.


Traditional clothing stays in the family. You can't just give it to anyone. If you were to buy new traditional clothing, it would cost anywhere from 4 to 5 thousand francs.



The corsets are different. The Lauterbrunnen corset is liked by pregnant women.



The brooches are different from region to region. The Bern brooch is made of wood.


The brooch from Lauterbrunnen is made of oxidized silver.


The lady's hat is folded at one side. The fold makes it easier for her to walk closer to a man and lean in for a kiss.


Bobbin lacing


You would wear the black hat on Sundays to church.


Only married women wear this black hat.


These are the traditional black shoes with silver buckles worn by women all over Switzerland. They wear white stockings.



The number of flowers on the corset of the girl with the green shirt represent either how much money the family has or the number of cows.






The Bernese Mountain Dog (German Berner Sennenhund) is a large dog breed, one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from Bern, Switzerland and the Swiss Alps. These dogs have roots in the Roman mastiffs. The name Sennenhund is derived from the German Senne ("alpine pasture") and Hund (hound/dog), as they accompanied the alpine herders and dairymen called Senn. Berner (or Bernese in English) refers to the area of the breed's origin, in the canton of Bern. This breed was originally kept as a general farm dog. Large Sennenhunde in the past were also used as draft animals pulling carts. The breed was officially established in 1912.



"The Bernese mountain dog is a large, heavy dog with a distinctive tri-colored coat, black with white chest and rust-colored markings above eyes, sides of the mouth, front of legs, and out around the white chest. However, it is the only breed of Sennenhund dogs with a long coat. The ideal of a perfectly marked individual gives the impression of a white horseshoe shape around the nose, which is always black. There is a white “Swiss cross” on the chest when viewed from the front. A “Swiss kiss” is a white mark located typically behind the neck, but may be a part of the neck. A full ring would not meet the type standard. The AKC breed standard lists, as disqualifications, blue eye color, and any ground color other than black."

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