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.