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Switzerland hosts an amazing variety of events all year round. During the summer, Swiss meadows and gardens are bursting with music and arts festivals, while winter is more often dedicated to sports such as ski competitions. Several international conferences and political meetings take place around the country throughout the year.
In the summertime, numerous fabulous indoor or open-air festivals featuring world-class artists attract audiences from all over the world: to name just a few, there are Montreux Jazz, Paleo and others in July, the classical Lucerne Festival in August, and the Menuhin Festival Gstaad, held in various churches in the midst of the Alps throughout the summer months.
Several art exhibitions brighten up the summer as well, the most famous perhaps being the international art fair Art Basel, considered by the New York Times to be the "Olympics of art world". It features 250 leading galleries from all over the world and attracts thousands of art lovers.
The open-air Locarno International Film Festival in August is considered "the place to be" by thousands of movie buffs and journalists. Ideally situated at the crossroads of cultures in Switzerland, it features all kinds of films in various categories.
Besides the cultural and artistic events, Switzerland is home to many sport events and competitions. For example, the Weltklasse Zürich or Athletissima in Lausanne welcomes the world's top athletes in state-of-the art stadiums, while the European Masters of Golf attracts professional golfers from all over to Crans Montana.
Switzerland, homeland of the Red Cross founder Henri Dunant and the site of the headquarters of several governmental and nongovernmental international organizations, regularly hosts the most important meetings and conferences of political leaders, including the United Nations in Geneva. The annual January World Economic Forum (Davos Summit), supervised by the Swiss Federal Government, is one of the most famous.