Festivals & Holidays in Switzerland

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Holidays

Public holidays are regulated at cantonal level (except 1 August) and can vary greatly. However, they are those that are observed (almost) everywhere:

  • New Year’s Day: 1 January (one of the three public holidays legally recognised by each canton).
    • St. Berchtold: 2 January (in many cantons and municipalities it is a legally recognised holiday, but not everywhere).
  • Easter (is not a public holiday, but since it always occurs on a Sunday, it is observed that way).
    • Good Friday (public holiday in all cantons except Valais and Ticino)
    • Easter Monday (observed everywhere, but not a legally recognised holiday in every canton/municipality)
  • Ascension Day (39 days after Easter, the second of the three public holidays recognised by law by each canton)
  • Pentecost (49 days after Easter, it is not a public holiday, but since it always falls on a Sunday, it is observed that way).
    • Whit Monday (observed everywhere, but not a legally recognised holiday in every canton/community)
  • Swiss National Day, 1 August (only bank holidays)
  • All Saints’ Day: 1 November (purely Catholic feast day, celebrated and legally recognised only in traditionally Catholic cantons and municipalities).
  • Christmas:
    • 25 December: Christmas Day (the third of the three public holidays legally recognised by each canton).
    • 26 December: St Stephen’s Day (a legally recognised feast in many cantons and municipalities, but not everywhere).

The public holidays observed by the timetables of public transport companies, in particular SBB FFS and PostBus, are: 1 and 2 January, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Ascension Day, Whit Monday, 1 August, 25 and 26 December. The opening hours of local offices and the timetables of local transport companies are sometimes also based on local holidays.

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