For coronavirus (COVID-19) travel information, see our FAQ.

Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Switzerland

Alpabfahrt cow procession, Appenzell, 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. Weather-dependent events such as outdoor alpine festivals are often rescheduled on short notice when the forecast looks iffy; in most cases the events are then postponed exactly one week. 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

2020

January 1:  New Year's Day (closures)

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

January 6:  Epiphany (closures in some areas)

January–March:  Horn sled races, alpine areas

January 13:  Gregorian-calendar New Year's Eve celebrations, Appenzell

January 17–19:  Lauberhorn ski race, Wengen

January 20–25:  World Snow Festival, Grindelwald

January 22–25:  Inferno ski race, Mürren

January 25–February 2:  International Hot Air Balloon Festival, Château-d'Oex

February 2, 9 & 16:  White Turf, St. Moritz (horse races across frozen lake)

Late February–March 2:  Chalandamarz, across Graubünden (traditional costumes, processions, bells and whips to chase away winter)

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

March 1:  Republic Day, Neuchâtel (closures)

March 8:  Engadin Ski Marathon (huge cross-country ski race that runs through St. Moritz and Samedan)

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

Mid-March–Mid-May:  International Jazz Festival Bern

March 28–April 13:  Interlaken Classic Music Festival

March 31–May 5:  Tulip Festival, Morges (Lake Geneva)

April 6–8:  Sechseläuten, Zürich (springtime festival culminating with burning of a snowman on Monday)

April 6–14:  Lucerne Festival at Easter

April 10:  Good Friday (Karfreitag / Vendredi saint; closures in most areas)

April 12–13:  Easter Sunday and Monday (Oster / Pâques and Ostermontag / Lundi de Pâques; closures in most of country)

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

April 30–May 2:  Appenzell A Cappella Festival

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

May 3:  Gruyères Cheese Festival

May 21:  Ascension (Christi Himmelfahrt / l'Ascension; processions, closures)

May/June/July:  Alpine cattle ascent (Alp- or Almaufzug, Alp- or Almauffahrt / Estive; cow processions through alpine villages; especially big in Engstligenalp and Appenzell; dates vary by year and location)

May 31–June 1:  Pentecost (Pfingsten / Pentecôte) and Whit Monday (Pfingstmontag / Lundi de Pentecôte; closures in most of country)

Early June:  Street Artists Festival, Ascona (near Locarno)

June 5–28:  Zürich Festival (arts and culture)

June 11:  Corpus Christi (Fronleichnam / Fête-Dieu; closures in most areas)

June 19–21:  Fête de la Musique, Geneva (wide range of music performances in streets and squares)

June 21:  Fête de la Musique, Lausanne (wide range of music performances in streets and squares)

June 26–28:  National Yodel Festival (Eidgenössisches Jodlerfest), Basel

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

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

July 3–5:  Rosenfest, Weggis (fireworks, music, parades; Lake Lucerne)

July 3–18:  Montreux Jazz Festival

July 7–12:  Lausanne City Festival

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

July 12:  Rigi Schwinget (alpine festival with wrestling and traditional music atop Mt. Rigi)

July 15–18:  Gurten Festival, Bern (open-air rock festival)

July 16–August 9 (likely):  Fête des Vignerons, Vevey (once-in-a-generation wine festival)

July 17–25:  Blue Balls Music Festival, Luzern (blues/jazz/soul/funk/rock/pop/world music)

July 17–August 2:  Verbier Festival (classical music, near Martigny)

July 17–September 6:  Menuhin Festival, Gstaad (classical music)

July 20–26:  Paléo Festival, Nyon (huge indie rock, world music festival near Geneva)

July 24–26:  International Alphorn Festival (Festival de Cor des Alpes), Nendaz (Valais)

July 24–26 (likely):  Interlaken International Street Artists Festival (Glauklerfest)

July 26:  National Costume Festival (traditional dress from around Switzerland), atop Männlichen peak (Berner Oberland)

July 31:  Rhine Falls fireworks on the eve of Swiss National Day, Schaffhausen; also Big Bang Lake Festival, Biel / Bienne (fireworks; street fair)

August 1:  Swiss National Day (parades and fireworks with biggest celebrations at Rütli meadow on Lake Lucerne; closures)

August 5–15:  Locarno International Film Festival

August 6–8:  Buskers Bern

August 7–9:  Appenzeller Länderfest (folk music)

August 8:  Street Parade, Zürich (city-wide rave)

August 8:  Zermatt Folklore Festival

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

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

August 16:  Schwägalp-Schwinget (Swiss-wrestling competition in alpine setting), Appenzell

September 10:  Jeune Genevois (Thanksgiving in Geneva)

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

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

September 27:  Wengen Chästeilet (cheese festival)

September/October:  Alpine cattle descent (Alp- or Almabfahrt, or Alp-or Almabtrieb / Désalpe; cow processions through alpine villages; especially festive in Appenzell dates vary by year and location)

October 2–4 (likely):  Festa d'Autunno, Lugano (food and wine harvest festival)

October 9–10 (likely):  Vernier sur Rock (rock/punk/reggae festival near Geneva)

October 30–November 8 (likely):  Geneva International Film Festival

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

November 25:  Zibelemärit, Bern (traditional onion-market fair)

December:  Christmas markets across Switzerland

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 11–13:  Fête de l'Escalade (torchlight parade with period costumes, commemorating the city's escape from capture in 1602)

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, also Restoration Day in Geneva (closures)