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HOLIDAYS

When do the Swiss have their public holidays in 2020?

There are few national holidays in Switzerland, but individual cantons and regions have their own official days as well. Here's a look at how the national or regional public holidays fall in 2020.

When do the Swiss have their public holidays in 2020?
FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Here are the national public holidays in 2020 when businesses and schools normally close.

Wednesday January 1st: New Year’s Day

Good Friday, April 10th: Two days before Easter Sunday, Christians commemorate Jesus Christ’s crucifixion.

Ascension Day, Thursday, May 21st: Traditionally celebrated the 40th day after Easter Sunday, this holiday commemorates Jesus’s ascension into heaven.

National Day, Saturday August 1st: Swiss celebrate the historic alliance concluded in 1291 by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden, which laid the foundation of present-day Switzerland.

Christmas Day, Friday December 25th: As in all Christian nations, it is a public holiday in Switzerland as well.

In addition to these official national events, individual cantons or regions celebrate their own holidays:

Monday January 6th otherwise known as the Epiphany or Three Kings Day is a holiday in the cantons of Graubünden/Grisons, Lucerne, Schwyz, Ticino and Uri. 

READ ALSO: REVEALED: the Swiss communes with the most public holidays`

St Joseph's Day on Thursday March 19th is a holiday in the cantons of Nidwalden, Solothurn, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri and Valais.

Easter Monday on April 13th is also a holiday in most cantons, but not nationwide.

Labour Day, Friday,May 1st: This celebration of the working classes is a public holiday in Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Ticino, Zurich.

Thursday June 11th – Corpus Christi is a public holiday in Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Ticino, Uri, Valais, Zug.

Assumption Day, Saturday, August 15th: Celebrated in Aargau, Appenzell Innerrhoden, Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, St Gallen, Ticino, Uri, Valais, and Zug, this Christian holiday it is the principal feast of the Blessed Virgin, the mother of Jesus Christ.

Jeûne genevois, Thursday September 10th: – A Geneva holiday dating back to the 16th century originally involved fasting but that is no longer the case today. A typical food eaten on this day is a plum tart.

Lundi du Jeûne fédéral, Monday September 21st: Celebrated on Sunday September 20th in the whole of Switzerland (except in Geneva), this interfaith holiday focusing on thanks-giving and repentance is a public holiday in Vaud the following Monday.

Sunday November 1st – All Saints day falls on a Sunday in 2020 but it is normally a pubic holiday in the following cantons: Appenzell Innerrhoden, Glarus, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, St. Gallen, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, Valais and Zug

Tuesday December 8th – the Christian feast of the Immaculate Conception is a holiday in most cantons.

December 26th is also a public holiday in most cantons although given it falls on a Saturday in 2020 it won't be a day off.

There are also some minor holidays celebrated in certain individual cantons in 2020. You can more information here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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HOLIDAYS

Where do residents of Switzerland plan to spend their summer holidays?

Local tourism officials are recommending that Switzerland’s population stays in the country this year. But a new survey shows the majority prefer to venture abroad.

Where do residents of Switzerland plan to spend their summer holidays?
Residents of Switzerland like to spend their holidays on Mediterranean beaches. Photo by AFP

After three months of being stuck at home and living under various restrictions, staycations are the last thing that many of Switzerland’s residents want to do this summer.

“People often tell us that they don’t want to have the destination of their holidays imposed on them”, Stéphane Jayet, vice-president of the Swiss Travel Federation told RTS television

And Rafael Matos, a tourism teacher at HES-SO in Valais, added that “the Swiss are among the nationalities which travel the most. And we have the right to travel. It has almost become a human right “.

This year, Switzerland’s public dreams of relaxing by a warm sea, in the shade of palm trees.

A new survey shows that only 19 percent of residents will likely heed the call of tourism authorities and stay in Switzerland this summer. 

The other 80 percent said they would like to vacation in the Mediterranean countries, but mostly in those that are accessible by car or train, since flight schedules may be uncertain in the foreseeable future.

That means Italy and France, both of which can be reached by car or train within five or six hours from Switzerland. 

READ MORE: Where can you travel in Europe? EU launches new website to help tourists 

But unlike previous years, when most people used to book their holidays well ahead of time, this summer “a lot of people will opt for the ‘last-minute’ deals”, Jayet said.

Foreign vacations seemed impossible just weeks ago, when European countries closed their borders amid the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.

 In April, the majority of Switzerland’s public planned to stay in the country for their holidays.

In fact, tourism authorities are urging residents to spend their summer holidays in the country to help the sector rebound from the huge losses it suffered during the Covid-19 crisis — nearly 9 billion francs in revenue since the beginning of the pandemic in mid-March. 

Officials even launched two campaigns, ‘We need Switzerland’ and ‘Clean and Safe’ to entice people to stay. 


 

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