Switzerland public holidays in 2019 and 2020 - Canton Zurich

Each of the 26 Swiss cantons (administrative subdivisions) observes different public holidays, being only a few occasions – amongst them New Year’s Day, Ascension and National Swiss Day – commonly celebrated throughout the whole of Switzerland. Below is the list of public holidays in the most populous Swiss canton, Zürich in 2019 and 2020:




1 January (Tuesday)

New Year’s Day

1 January (Wednesday)

2 January (Wednesday)

St. Berchtold Day

2 January (Thursday)

19 April (Friday)

Good Friday

10 April (Friday)

21 April (Sunday)

Easter Sunday

12 April (Sunday)

22 April (Monday)

Easter Monday

13 April (Monday)

1 May (Wednesday)

Labour Day

1 May (Friday)

30 May (Thursday)


21 May (Thursday)

10 June (Monday)

Whit Monday

1 June (Monday)

1 August (Thursday)

Swiss National Day

1 August (Saturday)

15 September (Sunday)

Swiss Federal Fast / Federal Day of Thanksgiving, Repentance and Prayer

20 September (Sunday)

25 December (Wednesday)

Christmas Day

25 December (Friday)

26 December (Thursday)

St. Stephen’s Day / Boxing Day

26 December (Saturday)

See map of Swiss cantons.

Local holidays Zurich
In addition to the holidays included in the table above, the city of Zürich, canton’s capital, observe several festivities, which, although not considered official public holidays, often mean reduced working hours for businesses and public institutions:

Every third Monday of April, Zurich celebrates the upcoming spring and bids farewell to winter by burning a symbolic figure of a Snowman at Sechseäuten Platz. This act is preceded by festive parades and procession of guilds. In 2019 Sechseläuten will be celebrated on 14 April  (Monday) and in 2020, on 20 April (Monday).

See footage of Zurich Sechseäuten parade:


Knabenschiessen celebrations in Zurich
Held on the second weekend of September, Knabenschiessen is a target shooting competition, which traditionally was reserved for boys only. Since 1991 both boys and girls, age 13-17 are allow to participate, as long as they are residents or go to school in Zurich. Knabenschiesse is accompanied by a large fair with rides and food stalls. In 2017 Zurich Knabenschiessen competition will be held between 7 September (Saturday) and 9 September (Monday). Knabenschiessen dates for 2020 are: 12 September (Saturday) to 14 September (Monday).

St. Berchtold Day Switzerland
Celebrated since 14th century, St. Berchtold Day has unclear origins, deriving either from a Swiss German Benedictine monk Blessed Berchtold, or from Duke Berchtold V, the founder of Bern. Another explanation of St. Berchtold Day links it to the tradition of “walking around and asking for food” – berchten. On St. Berchtold Day friends and family meet to spend time together and exchange new year’s wishes. Nuts are eaten on St. Berchtold Day and children play games consisting in stacking nuts in a pile. Berchtoldstag is also celebrated in Liechtenstein.

Swiss National Day
Bundesfeier, the Swiss National Day, celebrates the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291 when three Swiss cantons (Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden) formed an alliance, the origin of the modern-day Switzerland. Swiss National Day, held on 1 August is celebrated in all 26 cantons of Switzerland, through public gatherings, firework displays and concerts.

See the parade along Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich on Swiss National Day:


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Switzerland public holidays in 2019 and 2020 - Canton Zurich
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