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1st of August - Swiss National Day

Updated: Aug 8, 2023




The Swiss National Day, celebrated on the first of August, commemorates the founding of the Swiss Confederation. On 1st of August 1291, three cantons (or regions) in what is now Switzerland, namely Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden, formed a defensive alliance called the "Eidgenossenschaft" (Confederation).

This alliance was aimed at securing their independence and mutual protection against external threats.


The date of 1st of August is considered symbolic because it marks the date of the signing of the Federal Charter of 1291, also known as the "Bundesbrief" or "Eidgenossenschaft." The document established the foundational principles of the Confederation and laid the groundwork for Switzerland as a nation.


Over the centuries, more cantons joined the Confederation, eventually leading to the modern-day Swiss Confederation, which comprises 26 cantons of which 6 half cantons: Ob- and Nidwalden, Appenzell Ausser- and Innerrhoden, Basel-Stadt and Basel-Land. Swiss National Day has been celebrated since the late 19th century, and it became an official public holiday in 1994.


On Swiss National Day, various festivities take place throughout the country, including fireworks, parades, concerts, and communal gatherings. It's a day for Swiss citizens to celebrate their national identity, history, and unity.