Swiss public holidays

Public holidays in Switzerland 2017 and other important Swiss holidays

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Here is a list of Swiss holidays in 2017, including Swiss public holidays and regional vacations, daylight savings, Mother's and Fathers Days, Swiss school holidays and other important holidays in Switzerland.

While there are some Swiss holidays observed across the nation, certain religious holidays and local holidays are only observed in some cantons and regions around Switzerland. This means that not all cantons across Switzerland have the same Swiss public holidays (un jour férié in French, feiertag in German).

Many Swiss holidays are religious and thus usually observed only in the cantons where Catholicism is the main religion. National holidays in Switzerland (or Swiss bank holidays) are taken very seriously, with almost all shops and public institutions closed.

The most important of all holidays in Switzerland is the Swiss National Day, which falls on 1 August every year and is technically the only official federal holiday. You can read which public holidays coincide with Switzerland's festivals, which are a great way to travel around the country and experience traditional Swiss culture and regional Swiss food. One of the most colourful Swiss holidays is carnival, when the Swiss let their hair down and celebrate.

If a Swiss national holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, workers may take either the Monday or Friday off to create a long weekend. Bank holidays in Switzerland are generally observed on their calendar date, however, some cantons and organisations may allocate a weekday off it the Swiss public holiday falls on a weekend.

Swiss public holidays 2017

(N) = national holiday
(R) = regional
holiday only observed in certain cantons

January 1: New Year's Day (Neujahrstag) (N)

January 2: Berchtold's Day (Berchtoldstag) (R) – Aargau, Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Vaud, Zug, Zurich.

January 6:  Epiphany (Heilige Drei Konige) (R) – Graubünden, Lucerne, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri. 

March 1: Republic day (R) – Neuchâtel; this region declared itself a republic and part of Switzerland in 1848.

March 19: St Joseph's Day (Josefstag) (R) Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais.

April 7: Näfelser Fahrt (pilgrimage to the battle site) (R) – Glarus.

April 14: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (R) – all cantons except Ticino and Valais.

April 17: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N) – celebrated to different degrees depending on the canton and region.

April 24: Sechseläuten (6 o'clock ringing of the bells, third Monday of April) (R) – afternoon only, Zurich.

May 1: Labour Day / May Day (Tag der Arbeit) (R) – Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt,  Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Zurich.

May 25: Ascension Day (Auffahrt) (40 days after Easter) (N)

May 16: Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (Pfingstmontag) (R) – celebrated to varying degrees depending on the canton and region.

June 15: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Grisons, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

June 23: Fête d'Indépendance – Jura.

June 29: St Peter's / St Paul's Day (R) – Graubünden, Lucerne, Ticino. 

August 1: Swiss National Day (Bundesfeier) (N)

August 15: Assumption Day (R) –  Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, St Gallen, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

September 12: Knabenschiessen (R) – Zurich.

September 17: The Fedral Fast (Buß-und Bettag), a federal day of thanksgiving, repentance and prayer – Regional differences include: Geneva (celebrates 'Jeûne genevois' on September 7); stores in Bern, Neuchâtel, Vaud generally close for 'Bettagsmontag' on September 18 (Monday after the third Sunday).

September 25: St. Niklaus von Flüe (R) – Obwalden.

November 1: All Saints' Day (Allerheiligen) (R) – Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Glarus, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, St Gallen, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

December 8: Immaculate Conception (Maria Empfangnis) (R) – Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

December 25: Christmas Day (Weihnachten) (N) – Christmas falls on a Monday in 2017.

December 26: Boxing Day/St Stephen's Day (Stephenstag) – generally considered a normal working day in Geneva, Jura, Neuchâtel, Valais, Vaud.

December 31: Restoration Day (R) – Geneva; a commemoration of the re-establishment of Geneva as a republic in 1813.

Swiss carnival is a widely Swiss holiday.

Important Swiss holidays and dates

March 6–8: Carnival; although not typically an official public holiday, this is a widely celebrated Swiss holiday.

March 26: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts.

May 8: Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)

June 5: Father's Day (first Sunday in June)

October 29: Clocks go back one hour (DST ends).

Swiss National Day

Every year on 1 August, Switzerland celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291. Each Swiss commune offers a day of federal unity with firework displays, concerts, public speeches and presentations. Thousands of people attend festivities in the largest cities (Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Bern and Lugano). The main celebrations take place at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen and at the Ruetli Meadows alongside Lake Lucerne.

Carnival in Switzerland

Carnival in Switzerland is an unwritten licence for the normally well-behaved Swiss to let their hair down. Parades, events and parties take place across the country, with certain areas hosting bigger events. See events in our guide to carnival in Switzerland.

Swiss school holidays

School holidays in Switzerland are set by each canton. You can find the website of your own canton here.

 

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