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Weimar Onion Market Festival Guide

History and dates of the Weimar, Germany Onion Market Festival


weimar onion market picture

Zwiebelmarkt - Weimar Onion Market Festival Showing Braided Onions

Foto: weimar GmbH/Maik Schuck

This year the famous Weimar Onion Market (Weimarer Zwiebelmarkt) celebrates 356 years of operation. They sell onions at the Onion Market:

These are no ordinary onions lumped together in crates or sacks; these are onions plaited together in the traditional way and decorated with dried flowers of yellow, white or lilac. They come in all sizes too - from tiny ones to a whopping big one. ~ Weimar Markets and Festivals

18th century Weimar resident Goethe secured onions plaited in the form of a heart to his writing desk, then say, and praised onions for their health benefits.

History of the Weimar Onion Market

The Weimar Onion Market began in 1653 as a "market for beasts and onions" held on a Sunday in October. In 1861 the market expanded to three days, and in 1872 an Onion Market Ordinance opened the door to other products: celery, radishes, garlic, leeks, and marjoram could now be sold. The market declined in the early twentieth century and began picking up steam mid-century. By 1971 it was heading into new territory when a record 200,000 visitors showed up and the sale of onion garlands ramped up to an astonishing 70,000 units. Handicrafts, big in today's market, began to make a showing.

2011 Onion Market Festival Dates

Today the market occupies the whole of the historic part of the city with traditional food and handicraft market stalls, music, and the naming of an onion queen, drawing about a third of a million people annually. The dates are set on the closest weekend after 2 October, from Friday to Sunday, so the 2011 dates are 7th to 9th October 2011.

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