Zäziwil named "Swiss Village of the Year 2023

With the "Brächete" - a demonstration of how flax used to be made into linen fabric - Zäziwil in the Bern region secured the coveted title of "Swiss Village of the Year 2023". Schweizer Illustrierte, L'illustré and La Domenica focused on the community with the most beautiful village festival in this year's election of the "Swiss Village of the Year".

Village of the year 2023: Zaeziwil is nominated as Village of the Year 23 for their Traditional Braechete held every year in the village. Image © Remo Naegeli

The "Brächete" has been held in the municipality of Zäziwil BE on the last Wednesday in September since 1955. The aim of the event is to revive this old tradition. The 14 operations of the Brächete craft are demonstrated on original equipment. For example, flax breaking, which gives the "Brächete" its name, or panting. In the latter, the flax fiber strands are pulled through the so-called Hechelkamm. In addition, locals also present other early crafts - such as threshing or making shingles. 100 market stalls offer culinary specialties and traditional goods from the region. Thus, food, drink and entertainment are also provided.

Village of the year 2023: Zaeziwil is nominated as Village of the Year 23 for their traditional Braechete which takes place every year in the village. Hanni Stalder is one of the driving forces for this tradition. Picture © Remo Naegeli

This living tradition convinced the readers of Schweizer Illustrierte, L'illustré and La Domenica: Of the eight finalists Cressier (NE) with "La fête du Vin Nouveau", Evolène (VS) with the "Carnaval", Chapella (GR) with the "Open Air", Val Müstair (GR) with the "Harvest Festival", Val Bavona (TI) with the "Processione di Gannariente", Acquarossa (TI) with the "Milizia Storica", Schüpfheim (LU) with the "Entlebucher Alpabfahrt", Zäziwil (BE) with the "Brächete" prevailed in the nationwide competition and may now adorn itself with the title "Swiss Village of the Year 2023".

Parish president Urs Hirschi is delighted about the award for his village: "Above all, this is recognition for the many helpers and associations who are committed to the Brächete and the village life of Zäziwil."

Roland Wahrenberger, Managing Director Consumer Magazines Ringier Axel Springer Switzerland: "I find it fascinating that at the "Brächete" more than 50 people demonstrate in many steps how flax is made into linen fabric. Apparently I am not alone in this, because over 1,000 people from out of town take part in this folk festival in Zäziwil every year. I am delighted that we can celebrate the title of "Swiss Village of the Year 2023" together with the residents of Zäziwil this evening."

In previous years, readers have also voted for the "Swiss Village of the Year" and the "Most Beautiful Village in Switzerland". Previous winners: Urnäsch AR (2022), La Punt Chamues-ch GR (2021), Ruswil LU (2020), Trub BE (2019), Oberhofen BE (2018), Schwellbrunn AR (2017) and Morcote TI (2016).

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