First of August aka Swiss National Day

In the four official languages spoken in Switzerland the national holiday is called: Schweizer Bundesfeier (German), Fête nationale Suisse (French), Festa nazionale svizzera (Italian), Fiasta naziunala Svizra (Romansh). Switzerland is one of the oldest “modern” democracies in Europe, dating back to 1291 when three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an action which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland. In fact, the Federal Charter of 1291 was placed in early August which is why August 1st was chosen to celebrate the beginning of the Swiss Confederation.

First of August is an official holiday in all of Switzerland. Each year it is celebrated with paper lantern parades, bonfires, folklore concerts, sports events, fireworks, and smaller private celebrations among friends and family.

The largest Swiss National Day event in the USA is organized and held annually by the Swiss Benevolent Society of New York. Usually held in one of the five boroughs of New York City, the event draws thousands of Swiss, Swiss-Americans and friends of Switzerland from New York’s tri-state area and beyond. This tradition goes back to the 1970s, and was originally held at their former hospice in Mount Kisco, New York. The 2015 celebration is taking place in Long Island City, and you can find more information about it by clicking here.