Celebrating Swiss National Day on 1 August in Geneva


GENEVA, Switzerland – The Swiss celebrate this 1 August, 724 years of togetherness after a day in early August 1291, when three cantons, Uri, Schwyz and Unterwald (today Nidwalden and Obwalden), signed a Letter of Alliance to protect each other.

The 1291 agreement paved the road for what would become the Swiss Confederation in 1848. However, it wasn’t until 1891, when the Swiss celebrated the signing of the agreement for the first time.

True to Swiss democracy it took a public referendum 103 years later, 1994, before 1 August became a recognized federal holiday.

How is it celebrated?

National Day usually involves a parade – mostly children – carrying paper lanterns, a bonfire, music, speeches, the singing of the Swiss national anthem – which could soon change – and fireworks. Alpine towns also include typical Swiss activities such as flag throwers, yodeling and wrestling.

For the past 23 years, farmers have opened the doors of their farms offering a typical Swiss brunch. Find all the farms that offer 1 August brunch here. Standard price is CHF35 and it is either free or at a discount for small kids.

It is also customary that the Swiss President participates in a celebration at the Gruetli meadow, considered the birthplace of the Confederation. Tickets sales for this celebration closes a week early. Another large celebration takes place in Zurich.

City of Geneva – The canton’s capital hosts the largest fireworks and bonfire along with concerts and kids activities (albeit this year it will be the first time without the Fetes de Genève). Celebrations begin at 15:00 at Bastions Park and continue all day long. Then, it is fireworks, a bonfire and a DJ/mapping show by the Bastions monument (poor Calvin). Find all information here.

Below find celebrations around the canton.

Happy Swiss National Day!

Aire-la-ville begins celebrations at 19:00 until midnight. Bonfire, fireworks and music.

Avully hosts a torchlight parade beginning at 19:00 and fireworks by 22:00.

Avusy will be serving the traditional soup beginning at 18:30, a torchlight parade, bonfire and fireworks also in the menu.

Bardonnex hosts a small celebration at Compesières on 31 July.

Bellevue and Genthod begin celebrations at 18:00 including a lantern parade, bonfire and dancing.

Bernex hosts a dance, a torchlight parade, church bell ringing and bonfire beginning at 19:00.

Carouge hosts a lantern procession, wrestling matches, music, bonfire and a disco beginning at 17:00.

Cartigny begins celebrations at 18:30 with food, dancing, church bell ringing, bonfire and fireworks.

Celigny celebrates at the beach beginning at 18:30.

Chancy invites everyone to the Salle Communale beginning at 18:30 for soup, dancing, bonfire, a parade, fireworks and dancing until 2:00 the next day.

Chene-Bougeries, Chene-Bourg and Thonex merge efforts to host activities. The day begins at 17:00. Music, food, dancing, lantern parade and bonfire until 2:00 the next day.

Choulex from 30 July to 1 August – on Swiss National Day, dinner begins at 19:00. Activities include ringing of bells, a lantern parade, bonfire and dancing.

Collex-Bossy invites kids to participate by making lanterns for the procession.  Parade, bonfire and dancing until the next day.

Collonge-Bellerive is hosting celebrations by the beach starting at 19:00 with brass bad concerts, wakeboard exhibit, bonfire, fireworks and dancing the night away.

Cologny – that very exclusive Geneva suburb – will host an evening that will include serving of the traditional soup, lantern and torch-light parade, bonfire, dancing and fireworks. All topped off with barbecue and free pastries. Yum!

Confignon – the evening begins at 18:30 with soup, ringing of the bells, torchlight procession, bonfire, fireworks and dancing until the next day.

Corsier residents are invited to the municipal castle starting at 10:00 for brunch. Celebrations continue until the next morning and include soup serving, bonfire and dancing.

Dardagny and Russin – Have brunch at any of the farms in Russin from 9:00 to 13:00. Then from 18:00 head to Dardagny for a full fête until late at night.

Grand-Saconnex invite residents to the castle grounds where the traditional soup will be served starting at 18:00. Bonfire, music and fireworks until 1:00.

Gy starts serving soup at 18:00 followed by music, a lantern parade, cow-bell ringing and a bonfire.

Hermance invites everyone to meet at 18:00 by the beach for soup and a “typical Swiss music” concert followed by a parade through the quaint village, bonfire and dancing until 2:00.

Jussy starts its festivities at 8:00 until 14:00 followed by soup at 18:00, ringing of the bells, bonfire and dancing until the next day.

Laconnex and Soral welcome residents to their idyllic bit of Geneva country. Festivities begin at 18:00 and include a bonfire, fireworks and dancing.

Lancy starts its activities at 11:00 then at 18:30 at the Navazza-Oltramare Park with kids activities, soup, bonfire, fireworks begin at 22:00.

Lignon: see below under Vernier

Meinier: Fun begins at 18:00. Get your pipes ready to sing starting at 22:30.

Meyrin welcomes everyone at 18:00 with a traditional menu of soup, parades, bonfire and fireworks topped by dancing until the next day.

Onex begins celebrations at 19:00 with soup, kids games, bell ringing, lantern procession, bonfire and dancing.

Perly-Certoux will celebrate with food, kids activities, fireworks, lantern parade and bonfire.

Plan-les-ouates hosts and all-day affair beginning at 11:00 with kids activities, pony rides,  parade, music and bonfire. Ah.. and if you don’t like the traditional Swiss soup, they’ll be also serving gazpacho. Mmm.

Pregny-Chambesy with an Alphorn concert, soup, food, a lantern parade, bonfire, fireworks and dancing.

Presinge hosts a celebration that include kids activities, a parade, jazz concert and a bonfire beginning at 18:00.

Puplinge residents are called to meet at the Moutonnerie starting at 19:00 for music, soup, dancing, bonfire and dancing until midnight.

Satigny begins celebrations at 19:00 with soup, a parade, music, bonfire, fireworks and dancing.

Troinex invites everyone to bring lanterns and participate in its parade, partake of the soup, music, bonfire and the traditional dancing.

Vandoeuvres kicks things off with traditional flag throwing, yodeling and some good old cow bell ringing! Talk about tradition. After the lantern parade the eve ends with a bonfire.

Vernier – which includes the villes de Lignon and Aire invite everyone at 18:30 to partake in soup, yodeling, a lantern parade, fireworks and bonfire followed by dancing.

Versoix has hosts a two-day affair, beginning with its traditional guinguette or outdoor, communal gathering starting at 18:00 on 31 July by the lake, followed by lantern processions, music, fireworks, bonfire and dancing under the stars on 1 August.

Veyrier welcomes everyone starting at 18:30 at the Ecole du Grand-Saleve with soup, food, kids activities, folk dances, ringing of bells and later at the Place de l’Eglise with a bonfire, fireworks and dancing.

Find All About Geneva on Facebook and Twitter. To receive email updates subscribe here.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Reblogged this on All About Geneva and commented:

    Where to view the fireworks for Swiss National Day around Geneva?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s