We celebrate the Swiss National Day on August 1. It commemorates the anniversary of the Swiss Confederation in 1291.
The day is a public holiday in Switzerland, and the Swiss diaspora also celebrates it around the world. In Switzerland, it is traditional to celebrate with a picnic or BBQ, and many towns and villages hold special events such as concerts, street markets, and fairs.
A Swiss National Day history
The Swiss National Day commemorates the Old Swiss Confederacy’sConfederacy’s founding, an alliance of three cantons formed in 1291 to defend themselves against the Habsburg Empire. The Confederacy eventually grew to include eight cantons and became known as the Swiss Confederation.
In 1848, a new constitution transformed the Swiss Confederation into a federal state. The holiday has been celebrated since 1891 – the 600th anniversary of the Confederacy’s founding.
This day is not only a celebration of Switzerland’s history and culture but also a day to celebrate diversity. Switzerland is home to people from all over the world, and this diversity is one of our country’s strengths.
On Swiss National Day, we celebrate our unity in diversity and our commitment to being an open and inclusive society.
Swiss traditions on Swiss National Day
Many traditions take place on the Swiss National Day.
- One of the most popular is the eating of Swiss cheese fondue. Fondue is a dish that originated in Switzerland, and it is made with melted cheese and bread.
- Another popular tradition is the lighting of bonfires. Bonfires are traditionally lit on mountainsides, and they are a symbol of Swiss unity.
- The lighting of bonfires is also a tradition in many other countries, such as Germany, Austria, and Liechtenstein.
- In some parts of Switzerland, it is a tradition to ring church bells at midnight on Swiss National Day. It symbolizes the freedom of the Swiss people.
How do we Swiss National Day?
We celebrate this day in various ways, but one of the most popular traditions is having a picnic or BBQ. Many towns and villages also hold special events such as concerts, street markets, and fairs.
In Switzerland, it is traditional to decorate houses and public spaces with Swiss flags and flowers. It is also common to see people wearing traditional Swiss clothing such as dirndls and lederhosen.
The Swiss National Day is a time for family, friends, and community. It is a day to come together and celebrate all that we have in common. It is also a day to reflect on the values that make Switzerland a great place to live.
Celebrating independence, neutrality, and multiculturalism
We value our independence and our neutrality. Switzerland is a peaceful nation relying on human rights and the rule of law. We are a country of contrasts, where different languages, cultures, and religions coexist in harmony.
On Swiss National Day, we celebrate these values and all that makes Switzerland a special place to call home.