The Swiss National Day
: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French
: Fête nationale Suisse; Italian
: Festa nazionale Svizzera; Romansh
: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is 1 August
. It is inspired by the mention of "early August" (primo incipiente mense Augusto
) in the Federal Charter of 1291
. It was first celebrated in Berne
, marking the 600th anniversary of the charter. It displaced the formerly more prominent traditional date of the Rütlischwur
, 8 November 1307
. Based on that date, in 1907, the 600th anniversary was celebrated in Altdorf
. In 1941
, the 650th anniversary was celebrated.
Following a public vote on 26 September, 1993, it was made an official national holiday in 1994. It is celebrated each year on August 1st with town-wide paper lantern parades, bonfires, hanging strings of Swiss flags and fireworks.
The day of independence is typically celebrated at a local, municipality
level though certain events draw nation-wide attention. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen
has illuminated its 25 meter high waterfalls for special events. Beginning in 1920, the waterfall has been regularly lit for the national holiday and since 1966 is now lit only for this holiday. At the historic location of Rütli Meadow
above Lake Lucerne
, a representational celebration is staged in the location where the legendary pledge of alliance, the Rütlischwur
is said to have taken place.