For the Switzerland National Day, the country has some great events and festivities throughout the festive day. The whole country has events, live music and fun activities that you can see and join throughout the day. Many cities also have fireworks and evening music to dance to.
Which day is National Day in Switzerland?
The National Day in Switzerland is officially 1st August, and if you are wondering why Switzerland celebrates its national day on August 1st? Well, that is because back in 1291, three founding fathers are to have taken an oath to defend their freedom. They signed the Federal Charter, which only became officially in the late 19th century.
The first official celebration day of this Charter was in 1891, which started as the commemoration of its 600th anniversary. As for the National Day now, it officially became an annual celebration from 1899.
Then as of 1994, the Switzerland population voted for this day to become an official national public holiday with a day off. Which was approved with a 86.3% vote!
More information can be found here.
Swiss National Day Names
Since Switzerland is split up of 4 main languages based on the canton you are in, the Switzerland National Day is also known as:
- SchweizerBundesfeier in German
- Fête Nationale Suisse in French
- Festa Nazionale Svizzera in Italian
- Fiasta naziunala Svizra in Romansh
Our Switzerland National Day Experience
Leading up to the Switzerland National Day, we were officially in the country for only 6 days, since we relocated to Switzerland the previous week. So we had a lot to learn and see as we were not sure what to expect. All shops were selling lots of red and white Swiss flags for decorations, famous Swiss food, local Swiss wines, and party items to wear.
You will truly see the flag everywhere, even on a famously delicious freshly-baked Swiss bun.
For our own experience of the day, we arrived in Lugano by the afternoon with the local train from Locarno. We had decided to explore a little late as we wanted to also stay in Lugano for the fireworks, which was at 10:30pm. So it was a long afternoon and evening for us!
How does Switzerland celebrate national day?
Every year the Swiss National Day is celebrated throughout the country with speeches and bonfires, firework displays, picnics and traditional music all around the country.
You will also see the Switzerland square flag absolutely everywhere, such as on buildings, on people’s clothing and on local food!
For us personally, we have experienced this day in Lugano, see below what it was like from our experience:
Lugano City Events
The city was already busy and buzzing with a lovely atmosphere when we arrived. The Switzerland National Day was clearly well supported, with many dressed in red and white. Lots of children had also balloons or Swiss flags in their hands too.
Throughout the day there were many things that you could see and join in with. The events started at 10am on the 1st August 2022 with the opening parade followed by wreath laying at the Independence Monument. From then onwards, there was live performances from the Castagnola Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lüganiga Band.
Along the promenade there was also local music playing and some food/drink areas to sit and relax at. Everyone was having a lovely time and you could clearly see locals as well as tourists enjoying the festivities.
Fireworks In Lugano
For the final event of the fireworks at 10:30pm, Lugano became very busy along the waterfront. Everyone had definitely come out to watch them and everyone was in high spirits. By 10pm we had found a spot to watch and joined the locals to sit and wait for the show.
The fireworks were already prepared on 3 flat boats just off the shore on Lake Lugano. They were not far from the shore, and prepared in a way that you could stand anywhere along the waterfront for a good view.
Once it was time to start, there must have been every boat available out on the lake for a good view. They were all in the distance, since they couldn’t float too closely for safety reasons. We had never seen so many boats on the water at one time in Lugano!
Switzerland National Day Summary
Clearly with our own experience we only had a small glimpse of the whole day of festivities. For next year, we will know more about Switzerland and be more integrated, so we will know better how to experience the day best. Regardless of this, we had an amazing afternoon in Lugano and the huge firework display was done beautifully, and we felt very welcomed by everyone.