Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Switzerland

Cow processions fill the streets of alpine regions (such as Appenzell) in spring and fall.
  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates on the festival’s website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism site for Switzerland.
  • This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout Switzerland. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn’t a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals across Europe

2015

April 26:  Appenzell Landsgemeinde (open-air parliament with public selection of delegates)

May 1:  Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit / Fête du Travail; closures in many areas)

May 14:  Ascension (Christi Himmelfahrt / l’Ascension; closures)

May 24–25:  Pentecost (Pfingsten / Pentecôte) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag / Lundi de Pentecôte; closures in most of country)

June 4:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam / Fête-Dieu; closures in most areas)

June 12–July 12:  Zürich Festival (arts and culture)

June 18–August 29:  Tellspiele (William Tell performances, open-air theater, mostly on Saturdays and Thursdays; Interlaken)

June 29:  Sts. Peter and Paul’s Day (closures in Graubünden and Ticino)

July 3–18:  Montreux Jazz Festival

July 7–12:  Lausanne City Festival

July 9–11:  Estival Jazz, Lugano (free open-air festival)

July 16–19:  Gurten Festival, Bern (open-air rock festival)

August 1:  Swiss National Day (parades and fireworks; closures)

August 14–September 13:  Lucerne Festival in Summer (classical music)

August 15:  Assumption (Mariä Himmelfahrt / l’Assomption de Marie; closures in most areas)

August 29:  Street Parade, Zürich (city-wide rave)

September 10:  Jeune Genevois (Thanksgiving in Geneva)

September 12–14:  Knabenschiessen, Zürich (shooting competition)

September 20:  Federal Thanksgiving Day (Eidgenössischer Dank-, Buss- und Bettag / Jeûne fédéral, closures everywhere but Geneva; following Monday also holiday in and around Lausanne)

October 2–4:  Festa d’Autunno, Lugno (food and wine harvest festival)

November 1:  All Saints’ Day (Allerheiligen / La Toussaint; closures in most areas)

November 23:  Zibelemärit, Bern (traditional onion-market fair)

December:  Christmas markets

December 6:  St. Nikolaus Day (visits from Samichlaus; mainly in German-speaking areas)

December 8:  Immaculate Conception (Mariä Empfängnis / Immaculée Conception; closures in some areas)

December 24:  Christmas Eve (Heilige Abend / Noël, when the Swiss celebrate Christmas; closures in afternoon and evening)

December 25:  Christmas Day (closures)

December 26:  St. Steven’s Day (closures in most areas)

December 31:  New Year’s Eve

2016

January 1:  New Year’s Day (closures)

January 2:  St. Berchtold’s Day (Berchtoldstag), Harder-Potschete parade (Interlaken); closures

January 6:  Epiphany (closures in some areas)

January 15–17:  Lauberhorn ski race, Wengen

January 20–23:  Inferno ski race, Mürren

February:  Fasnacht (Carnival; especially big deal in Luzern, Zürich, Bern, and Basel)

March 19:  St. Joseph’s Day (Josefstag; closures in some areas)

March–May:  International Jazz Festival Bern

March (1 week):  Luzern Festival at Easter

March 25:  Good Friday (Karfreitag / Vendredi saint; closures in most areas)

March 27–28:  Easter Sunday and Monday (Oster / Pâques and Ostermontag / Lundi de Pâques; closures in most of country)

April 18:  Sechseläuten, Zürich (springtime festival)

April 24:  Appenzell Landsgemeinde (open-air parliament with public selection of delegates)

May 1:  Labor Day (Tag der Arbeit / Fête du Travail; closures in many areas)

May 5:  Ascension (Christi Himmelfahrt / l’Ascension; closures)

May 15–16:  Pentecost (Pfingsten / Pentecôte) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag / Lundi de Pentecôte; closures in most of country)

May 26:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam / Fête-Dieu; closures in most areas)

June–July (4 weeks):  Zürich Festival (arts and culture)

Mid-June–late August:  Tellspiele (William Tell performances, open-air theater, mostly on Saturdays and Thursdays; Interlaken)

June 29:  Sts. Peter and Paul’s Day (closures in Graubünden and Ticino)

Early July (2 weeks):  Montreux Jazz Festival