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Switzerland marks National Day under shadow of Covid-19

Published on August 01, 2020

Part of the Alps lit up on Friday night ahead of August 1 Swiss National Day celebrations under the shadow of Covid-19.

The mountain chains of Veisivi and Dent de Perroc, which rise to nearly 4,000 metres in the southern canton of Valais, glowed as magnesium powder was ignited in the event.

Thousands gathered below to watch the three-minute long display, at a safe distance from each other.

“Lots of people around Switzerland normally have fireworks to celebrate our national day, but they weren’t able to this year because of distancing regulations,” organiser Jacques Morard told Reuters.

National Day marks the legendary founding of Switzerland in 1291.

Gatherings of more than 1,000 people remain banned to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Traditional large public firework displays for August 1 have been cancelled but some smaller events are planned and politicians will be delivering speeches around the country.

The foreign ministry has launched a special website to help Swiss people abroad celebrate this “unusual August 1”.

Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga has also sent a message to the Swiss Abroad.