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Switzerland National Day

by Vishal Kumar

Switzerland celebrates its National Day on 1st August. The day is significant in Swiss history as it was on 1st August 1291 that the alliance between the three cantons namely Unterwalden, Uri, and Schwyz was concluded.

When is the National Day of Switzerland?

Switzerland celebrates its national day on August 1 every year. The day commemorates the birth of the Swiss confederation over 700 years ago in 1291.

Switzerland celebrates its national day on August 1 every year. The day commemorates the birth of the Swiss confederation over 700 years ago in 1291.

How is the National Day of Switzerland celebrated?

National Day was officially declared a holiday in 1993. This colorful Swiss holiday is marked with speeches, bonfires, barbecues, music, and gymnastic shows. Across the nation municipalities display fireworks that are usually set off from the hills, recalling the euphoric moment when the foreign bailiffs were expelled. The news of this historic event was also announced in the same way, with fireworks, in 1993.

The vibrant National Day celebrations include illuminating 25-meter high waterfalls on the Rhine, flying flags on top of buildings, singing the national anthem, and children marching on the street with Chinese lanterns.

What is the significance of the National Day of Switzerland?

August 1 was chosen as the National Day of Switzerland because three Alpine cantons-Schwyz, Unterwalden, and Uri – took a pledge of confederation, and promised to fight together if their sovereignty was threatened. This act of coming together and taking the vow to act jointly in face of external threats later became the foundation of Switzerland.

The representatives of the three cantons met on Rutli field, above Lake Lucerne, and even today the official National Day celebrations, including the public speech by the President, take place on Rutli.

What does the national flag of Switzerland represent?

The national flag of Switzerland was adopted on December 12, 1889. The flag is derived from the flag of Schwyz, one of the first three cantons of the country. It features a prominent equilateral white cross on a red background. The white cross has been used as the symbol of the Swiss military since the 14th century; however, the contemporary design of the cross poised in the red square field was first used in the 1800s, during the Napoleonic era by General Niklaus Franz von Bachmann.

The flag resembles the style of a medieval flag and, has been recognized as one of the two perfect square flags, the other one being that of the Vatican City. It represents the virtues of freedom, respect, loyalty, and devotion.

Who wrote the national anthem of Switzerland?

The national anthem of Switzerland, Swiss Palm or Schweizerpsalm, was composed by Leonhard Widmer in German, and it was set to tune by Alberich Zwyssig in 1841. Zwyssig sang the song for the first time on November 22 of the same year, and it became very popular in various Swiss cantons. However, the song did not achieve the status of a national anthem until April 1, 1981.

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