Swiss public holidays

Public holidays in Switzerland 2018 and other important Swiss holidays

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Here is a list of Swiss holidays in 2018, including Swiss public holidays and regional vacations, daylight savings, Mother's and Father’s 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 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 5 April: Näfelser Fahrt (pilgrimage to the battle site) (R) – Glarus.

Friday, 30 March: Good Friday (Karfreitag) (R) – all cantons except Ticino and Valais.

Monday, 2 April: Easter Monday (Ostermontag) (N) – celebrated to different degrees depending on the canton and region.

Monday, 16 April: Sechseläuten (6 o'clock ringing of the bells, third Monday of April) (R) – afternoon only, Zurich.

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

Thursday, 10 May: Ascension Day (Auffahrt) (40 days after Easter) (N)

Monday, 21 May: Whit Monday or Pentecost Monday (Pfingstmontag) (R) – celebrated to varying degrees depending on the canton and region.

Thursday, 31 May: Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam) (R) – Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Grisons, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

Saturday, 23 June: Fête d'Indépendance – Jura.

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

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

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

8–10 September: Knabenschiessen (R) – Zurich.

Sunday, 16 September: The Federal 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).

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

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

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

Tuesday, 25 December: Christmas Day (Weihnachten) (N)

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

Monday, 31 December: 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

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

Sunday, 25 March: Clocks go forward one hour as daylight saving time (DST) starts.

Sunday, 13 May: Mother’s Day (second Sunday in May)

Sunday, 3 June: Father's Day (first Sunday in June)

Sunday, 28 October: 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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