Experience this Magical Pumpkin Festival after Dark
This month, I attended one of the most magical events — a pumpkin lighting festival in the village of Rudolfingen, Switzerland.
If you're planning a visit to Switzerland, this is a wonderful festival to attend. It's typically held during one of the first weekends in November.
The moment you arrive, you can feel the magic in the air. Pumpkins line the street, filled with candles. Some twirl around in a sort of metal carousel, pictured below.
Dusk is fast approaching, and the village is hastily preparing for a large amount of guests. I can feel the temperature start to drop. Before the light of day is completely gone, I marvel at the creative display of pumpkins and observe the level of detail up close.
Before too long, I find a find shop full of pumpkins (known as "Kürbis" in German) and countless other goodies.
The shop is situated in an old, wooden farmhouse and has a certain rustic charm. Pumpkins crowd the room and gourds hang from the ceiling.
I'm glad to have stumbled upon this shop. There were many types of pumpkins to choose from, bottled goods, and other preservatives.
By the time I left, it was already dark outside. The pumpkins glowed brighter than ever. That's because at 6:00 PM sharp, the village turns off all its lights, leaving only the glow of pumpkins to light the way.
I love these pumpkins, featuring my favorite cereal brands from childhood.
Many of the food stands use pumpkins to show what they serve. This one caught my attention, advertising Glühwein (mulled wine) nearby.
I figure it's a good time to warm up again — but this time with a glass of Glühwein by the fire.
After a few sips, I leave the warmth of the fire and continue to explore nearby streets.
By now, more food stands are opening — one of which has Peruvian food. I stop and take a peek inside.
The smell of risotto fills the air, and I'm beginning to work up an appetite. Rain starts to fall heavily and so, I make my way to Restaurant Traube.
From inside, I watch the festival go by. The decorations inside are lovely and the candles create a romantic atmosphere. Tonight, the specials on the menu are pumpkin risotto and chicken skewers — just what I was craving!
With a fully belly, I make my way back to the bus. Along the way, I spot a little pumpkin village, complete with a winding river.
It was such a magical evening. Even though it's a two-day event, thousands of visitors make their way to the pumpkin lighting festival every year. It's not hard to see why.
Ready to Visit?
Rudolfingen is about an hour away from Zurich by train. With a Swiss Rail Pass, you can take the train from Zurich HB (Zurich's main train station) to Rudolfingen via Winterthur or Neuhausen.
The event lasts two days in the beginning of November, and it is completely free.
Although it's in German, you can find more information about the pumpkin lighting festival here at the official website of Rudolfingen.
See you next year!