Globalization Can’t Be All That Bad If It Gives Us Hot Air Balloon Festivals Like This

Published January 31, 2015
Updated September 25, 2018

These photos from the International Hot Air Balloon festival in Switzerland highlight the snowy landscape.

Colorful Balloon Festival

A colorful collection of hot air balloons before takeoff.

This January marks the 37th anniversary of Switzerland’s International Hot Air Balloon week held in Château-d’Oex. Organizers report that over 80 hot air balloons from 20 countries will participate in the event, which lasts from January 24, 2015 through early February.

The International Hot Air Balloon festival got its start in 1979, when 12 balloons from five countries gathered to promote Château-d’Oex at the suggestion of Hans Brücker. The festival grew over the years, and in 1999, the first hot air balloon to navigate around the globe without stopping left from Château-d’Oex. These days the festival hosts a number of special events and contests, drawing balloonists from all over the world. The festivities include a children’s-themed day, contests, Special Shape balloons and a night show with fireworks and music.


Cow Hot Air Balloon
There’s no denying that balloonists have a great sense of humor. Source: Distractify

Balloon Festival Before Takeoff
Balloons fill up with air and prepare for takeoff. Source: South China Morning Post

2012 International Hot Air Balloon Week in Switzerland
A colorful balloon from the 35th annual International Hot Air Balloon festival. Source: Kobrini

Dimtri Hot Air Balloon
An adorable bird-shaped balloon named Dimitri floats over the Swiss Alps. Source: IMPress

Aerial View of Balloon Festival
A balloon flies over buildings in Chateau-d'Oex in 2010. Source: LolliTop

Special Shapes at Balloon Week
Some of the special shapes balloons. Source: Pierrot Heritier

Interior of a Hot Air Balloon
A man walks along the inside of his hot air balloon. Source: NY Daily

French Balloonist Swiss Alps
The balloon of Sébastien Théfaut-Subéry, a French festival participant. Source: Semaine de Ballons

Hot Air Balloon Inflation
A balloonist prepares for takeoff by inflating his balloon. Source: Design You Trust

Twinning Tradition
Four balloons are connected by a ribbon and then released into the air as part of the festival’s Twinning tradition. Source: Semaine de Ballons

37th Annual Hot Air Balloon Festival
The 37th annual International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Switzerland. Source: Design You Trust

Lion Hot Air Balloon Switzerland
A lion balloon at the Chateau-d'Oex International Hot Air Balloon festival. Source: Life Abroad in Switzerland

Balloon Week in Winter
A balloon flies in the International Hot Air Balloon week in 2012. Source: IMPress

Birthday Cake Balloon Festival
Nothing says “Happy Birthday” quite like this balloon from the 2008 festival. Source: Flickr

Balloon Festival in Swiss Alps
A hot air balloon floats over the Swiss Alps at the International Hot Air Balloon festival. Source: Semaine de Ballons

Funny Shaped Hot Air Balloons
A number of fun balloons make an appearance in Château-d'Oex each year. Source: Pinterest

Balloon Festival Launch Zone
An aerial view of the launch zone at the International Hot Air Balloon week. Source: swissblog.net

Piper Hot Air Balloon
A balloon shaped as a piper prepares to take off. Source: est100

Balloons from Golden Pass Train Line
A view of the balloon festival from the Golden Pass train line. Source: Rudgr

International Hot Air Balloon week 2014
A balloon from the 36th annual International Hot Air Balloon week. Source: IMPress

Balloon Festival Switzerland 2010
The 2010 International Hot Air Balloon week. Source: IBuyMyPics

Colorful Balloon Festival
A colorful collection of hot air balloons before takeoff. Source: Vaud

This time-lapse video captures balloons from the 2015 festival at takeoff:

There's nothing like the Swiss Alps as a background for colorful hot air balloons. But don't take our word for it:

author
Kiri Picone
author
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
editor
Savannah Cox
editor
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Picone, Kiri. "Globalization Can’t Be All That Bad If It Gives Us Hot Air Balloon Festivals Like This." AllThatsInteresting.com, January 31, 2015, https://allthatsinteresting.com/balloon-festival. Accessed May 27, 2024.