National holidays remain one of the main features of Bern. Each of them is distinguished by a large number of various traditions and customs. January 2 is the day when the locals celebrate day of St. Berthold (or the Foundation Day of Bern). Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen is considered the founder of the city. This significant event happened in 1191. In order to protect his possessions, the Duke decided to found a city on the bank of the river Aare. The name of the new city was also chosen by the Duke. According to an ancient legend, on the day of the city's foundation Berthold went hunting. He announced that the city would be named after the first animal he manages to hit. Thus, as the first prey of the Duke was a bear, the city got its name from the German word «ber» - a bear. Since then the bear has become the major national symbol. You can easily see its image on the coats of arms and other symbols.
The day of the city's founding is the time for mass festivities in Bern. As a rule, the celebration is accompanied by numerous performances, fairs and children's holidays. You will find numerous small stalls and coffee shops next to all main streets and squares of the city. These are the places where guests can warm up and drink delicious local beer. August 1 is the time for a no less vivid celebration - the national holiday of Switzerland. Of course, the brightest and most memorable holiday events take place in Bern – guests of the city will surely enjoy colorful parades, music concerts and fireworks. Festival of wine is, without a doubt, the most awaited and beloved event of the celebration. Tourists, who are lucky enough to visit the city on the day of the holiday, will be able to appreciate the scope and beauty of the national traditions in their full beauty.
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