Click icon for new calendar selection

Traveler logo

General Comments on Swiss Holidays

Equivalent in English of the Weekdays:
Mo = Montag = Monday; Di=Dienstag=Tuesday; Mi=Mittwoch=Wednesday; Do=Donnerstag= Thursday; Fr=Freitag=Friday; Sa=Samstag=Saturday; So=Sonntag=Sunday.

We display in our Swiss calendars the legal holidays. Businesses are then closed, also pharmacies, except for a few "on duty."

Holidays and Equivalent in English
deutsch, français, italianoEnglish translation
Neujahr, jour de l'an, capodannoNew Year's Day
*Neujahr 2.Januar, 2e jour de l'an, capodannoSecond of January
Karfreitag, Vendredi saint, Venerdi santoGood Friday
Ostern, Pâques, PasquaEaster Sunday + Monday
*Maifeiertag,fête du 1 mai, festa del maggioLabor Day
Auffahrt, Ascencion, AssensioneAscension Day
Pfingsten, Pentecôte, PentecostePentecost Sunday+Monday
*Fronleichnam, fête Dieu, Corpus DominiCorpus Christi
Bundesfeier, fête nationale, festa nazionaleNational holiday
*Maria Himmelfahrt, Assomption, AssunzioneAssumption Day
*Allerheiligen, La Toussaint, OgnissantiAll Saints Day
*Maria unb. Empfängnis, Immaculée Conception, Immacolata Concezione Immaculate Conception
Weihnachten, Noël, NataleChristmas + St.Stephan's days

Switzerland enjoys the cultures of four language areas: Swiss German 64 % in the North and East, French 19 % in the West, Italian 8 % in the South, and Romansch 1% in the Southeast. While the former three are the official languages, Romansch receives federal support and flourishes depite some struggling existence across the southeastern border.

In our calendars, we use at least some of the official languages, and our English translation in parantheses. That is each as space permits.

Most laws are written at the communal and cantonal level and so is holiday legislation. Marked with *, and grayed in the calendars, means local observance. In some towns, the decision to declare a holiday is driven by local industry. An example can be the Second of January allowing industry and local stores to save on cost of keeping their door open while many people go skiing.

The national holiday should really be phased into our calendars per August of 1291, the founding of the original Swiss confederation. Yet, 1583 is the year we phase all Swiss holidays in, which is the first year of the civil calendar. There is no use showing holidays any earlier. See our calendrical comments.

It is a tradition since the early days of rail traffic that the Swiss do world class engineering in infrastructure and transportation, having frequently become the leaders. There are no potholes. The trains are clean, reliable, run on a frequent schedule, and the road net is excellent and complete with Autobahn and Alpine tunnel network. Consequently, because tourism seems at times less owerwhelming than that in parts of Germany, France, and Italy, also traffic may well diminish, once one has crossed the border into Switzerland. In fact, Switzerland is the only country in which three of the world's superfast trains end. These are the French TGV, German ECE, and Italian Tilt, whose end terminal is in Bern. The Tilt runs superfast through the Simplon's and Lötschberg's Alpine tunnels and curves, made possible by aerodynamic pressure sealing, and computer controlled tilting to compensate centrifugal forces.

Also, as a result of the enormous variety of unique places, sites, and activities, holiday traffic tends to spread out. Therefore, because truck traffic is prohibited on weekends and holidays, traffic would seem to be much smoother than in neighboring countries. This variety includes many historic sites, as well as cultural events and sports events, in addition to Switzerland's mountains in their own magnificence. To consult an events calendar can help optimize planning and enhance your travel enjoyment, perhaps even significantly.

Banks are usually open Mo - Fr 8:30 - 16:30 h and closed on holidays.

Change to and from summer time: These two Sundays are marked peru brown in our calendars. Notice that for the spring date, the last Sunday in March is assumed to continue beyond 1997, which is yet uncertain as of this writing (20.10.97).

HELVETIA, so minted after the Roman name of the Celtic inhabitants -- before the migration of the Alemanni into the area, approximately 500 A.D. -- is sometimes used as nationality identifier. See the postal stamps and country label on old maps. Being used is also CONFEDERATIO HELVETICA for the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, Fédération suisse, and Federazione svizzera. Hence the acronym "CH" on the nationality-identifier decal that motor vehicles are required to carry when abroad.

Schönen Aufenthalt und geniessen Sie die schöne Schweiz!
Bon séjour, réjouissez-vous de la belle Suisse!
Buon viaggio! rellegrarsi della bella Svizzera!

Calendrical Comments