Public holidays in Switzerland
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The national holidays – when almost everything is closed – are listed in the box, but they’re only part of the story. Most cantons supplement these with a handful of often religious holidays of their own, which can tie in with local festivals: various Catholic cantons, for instance, observe various saints’ days, and Ticino manages to authorize 17 annual holidays for itself. Common ones include January 6 (Epiphany, Dreikönigstag, Epiphanie, Epifania), May 1 (Labour Day, Tag der Arbeit, Fête du Travail, Festa del Lavoro), Corpus Christi in late May, August 15 (Assumption, Mariä Himmelsfahrt, Assomption, Assunzione), and November 1 (All Saints’ Day, Allerheiligen, Toussaint, Ognissanti).

Look out also for the seasonal pageants centred in various cities, and the often tumultuous celebrations of carnival on and around Mardi Gras in mid-February, which – amidst raucous partying in Luzern and Basel in particular – can often throw an unauthorized spanner in the works of shop opening times; for more, see p.68.


Liechtenstein keeps the same holidays as Switzerland, except that August 1 is a normal working day and the National Day is instead August 15. May 1 (Labour Day) is a full public holiday.

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