Street market fairs in the Jura


Category:
Social practices
Canton:

Description

The ‘braderies’ or street market fairs are popular events that are held in the Jura region (Bienne, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Moutier and Porrentruy). Originally in the 1930s, these were fairs where the city’s merchants cut their prices in order to boost the sluggish economy of the day. The fairs gradually evolved, drawing in more and more local organisations (sports, cultural and community associations, etc.), to become large gatherings where people meet, eat, drink and party for an entire weekend. The braderies take place every two years at the end of the summer, except in Biel, where they take place at the beginning of each summer.

People say that during these fairs, “Porrentruy is multiplied by ten” or “Biel triples." This appears to be true, since the braderie draws 40,000 visitors to Moutier, 65,000 to Porrentruy, 140,000 to Biel and 150,000 to La Chaux-de-Fonds. And it is not only the locals who look forward to the event; throngs of people come from the surrounding region to party. The braderie is also a must-attend event for expats, who then spend a few days with their childhood friends for a weekend when the party is in full swing, enjoying open-air cafés, parades and bands.

Image gallery

  • Fireworks display over the Castle of Porrentruy (Porrentruy, 2016) © reginefoto
  • Float bedecked in flowers at the Porrentruy braderie (Porrentruy, 1966) © Braderie de Porrentruy
  • Procession of cows at the Porrentruy braderie (Porrentruy, 1966) © Braderie de Porrentruy
  • Every year, the Biel braderie attracts nearly 140,000 visitors (Biei, 2016) © Bieler BRADERIE biennoise
  • La grande roue sur la Place de la gare : une attraction incontournable de la braderie (Bienne, 2016) © Bieler BRADERIE biennoise
  • The parade of flower-covered floats was a major draw to the Biel braderie until the 1990s (Biel, undated) © Mémoire régionale – regionales gedächtnis, Sammlung Aare
  • Every two years, the braderie attracts nearly 40,000 visitors (Moutier, 2015) © Jacques Stalder
  • The bands liven up the town (Moutier, 1987) © Mémoires d’Ici, Fonds La Suisse
  • Merry-go-rounds, a Ferris wheel and carousels are essential attractions of this foremost festive event (Moutier, 2015) © Jacques Stalder
  • Float of the workers’ federation FOMH (La Chaux-de-Fonds, 1940) © Musée d’histoire de La Chaux-de-Fonds

Video

1e Braderie de La Chaux-de-Fonds, Extrait du Ciné-Journal Suisse : La Chaux-de-Fonds En marge de la crise horlogère, 1932. Crédit audiovisuel : Bibliothèque de la Ville, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Département audiovisuel

References and documentation

Publications
  • Kurt Tanner: Aus der Krise geborenes Sommerfest: 50 Jahre Bieler Braderie. In: Bieler Jahrbuch = Annales biennoises. Biel, 1986, p. 207-210

  • Gérald Hammel et al. : 60 ans de braderie à Porrentruy. Ed. Comité d'organisation de la 26e Braderie. Porrentruy, 1996

  • Sylviane Musy : Voyage à travers les braderies d'hier à aujourd'hui. Conférence, Musée d'histoire de La Chaux-de-Fonds, 3 septembre 2017 (non publiée)

  • Jean-Pierre Jelmini : Vendanges et Braderie : un canton à deux fêtes. In : Présences (Cahier 35). Ed. Alliance culturelle romande. Pully, Genève, 1988, p. 66-74

  • Colin Vollmer : Après le vote, l'édition de la réconciliation. In : Le Quotidien jurassien, 24.08.2017

  • Anne Deschamps : La Braderie de tous les records. In : Le Quotidien jurassien, 26.08.2016

  • Maurice Edmond Perret : Foires et marchés en Suisse. In : Le Globe - Revue genevoise de géographie 99, 1959, p. 65-100

Documentation