Swiss National Day

Swiss National Day
Flag of Switzerland.svg
Official name German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fête nationale suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala svizra
Also called First of August
Observed by Switzerland
Significance Anniversary of the Federal Charter of 1291
Date 1 August
Next time 1 August 2018 (2018-08-01)
Frequency annual

The Swiss National Day ( German: Schweizer Bundesfeiertag; French: Fête nationale suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala svizra) is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on 1 August. Although the founding of the Swiss Confederacy was first celebrated on this date in 1891 and annually since 1899, it has only been an official holiday since 1994. [1]


The date is inspired by the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, Pacte du Grutli, placed in "early August", [2] when "three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation" (Schwyz, Uri and Unterwald), an action which later came to be regarded as the founding of Switzerland." [3] The document is one of several dozen pacts attested for the territory of Switzerland in the period of the mid-13th to mid-14th century. The foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy had been mostly associated with the Bund of Brunnen of 1315, or with the Rütlischwur, dated to 1307 by Aegidius Tschudi.[ citation needed]

The Federal Charter of 1291 first assumed great importance in a report by the Federal Department of Home Affairs of 21 November 1889, suggesting a celebration in Bern in 1891 that would combine the city's 700th anniversary with the Confederacy's 600th anniversary.[ citation needed]

The date of the Federal Charter came to replace the formerly more prominent, traditional date of 8 November Rütlischwur, 1307 in popular consciousness in the 20th century, specifically after the 650th anniversary celebrations of 1941.[ citation needed]

1 August is celebrated each year with paper lantern parades, bonfires, hanging strings of Swiss flags, fireworks and competitive rifle shooting matches. [3]