Is August 15th a public holiday in Switzerland?

The Local Switzerland
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Is August 15th a public holiday in Switzerland?
A boat with a Swiss flag flying at half-mast sails on Lake Geneva during celebrations in 2019. Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI / AFP

Some people in Switzerland will have the day off work on August 15th. We look at why it's a public holiday - and where.


August is holiday season across Europe. It's the month when many offices close, lots of small bars and cafes shut up shop and people head away from the cities towards lakes or cross the border to reach coastal cities.

But some people in Switzerland will be even happier this month - because they have an extra day off added to their annual leave allowance - Tuesday August 15th is a public holiday in several parts of the country. 

It means that many businesses will be closed for the day and there will be a Sunday feel.  

Of course - as is typical for Switzerland - the situation on who gets a day off varies across the country.

This year August 15th is a regional holiday in Lucerne, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Ticino, Uri, Valais and Zug. And it is a holiday in some municipalities in Aargau, Basel-Country, Freiburg, Graubündern and Soluthurn. 


August 15th, is an important date in the calendar for many parts of Switzerland because it’s a day to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin, which, according to Christians, commemorates the day the Virgin Mary entered heaven.

This will be honoured with masses in churches across the country. But apart from that, not a lot else happens, so don't be expecting parades or fireworks. 

Many people across Switzerland will be taking advantage of the holiday by getting away for a long weekend. They will likely have taken a 'bridge day' off work on Monday to make their holiday go further.

When is the next public holiday?

After Tuesday, there are five regional public holidays in Switzerland in September, while November 1st (All Saints Day) is a holiday in several cantons.

There are more regional holidays in December, while December 25th - Christmas Day - is a national holiday across Switzerland. 

READ ALSO: When are Switzerland's public holidays in 2023?

Useful German vocabulary:

Maria Himmelfahrt - Assumption Day

der Urlaub - the vacation

die gesetzliche Feiertage - the public holidays

die Sommerferien - the summer holidays

die Autoreise - the roadtrip


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