The Swiss will celebrate their National Day in great style in the city of Lucerne itself and in nearby towns.
The Swiss have been celebrating their National Day on 1st August ever 1891, although it only became a national holiday in 1994. The date marks the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291. On this date a historic alliance was made by the three cantons of Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden. This alliance was to become basis on which the Switzerland of today was built over the next 500 years.
Festivities to mark the occasion take place in cities, towns and villages all over Switzerland. Whatever impression you may have of the Swiss, they certainly do know how to celebrate! There will be a whole range of events taking place in city of Lucerne and the surrounding area this year.
In the city of Lucerne itself there will be a ceremony on the morning of 1st August with military music, a gun salute and Swiss flag throwing. Later that day a concert of traditional Swiss folk music will be held at the Music Pavilion by the lake. In the evening people will take to the water on motorboats and lake steamers, from which they’ll be able to enjoy watching firework displays at different towns and villages along the lakeshore.
In the lakeside town of Brunnen the Swiss National Day celebrations begin on 31st July with bands playing on stage at the Schilte Nüüni from 6.30 pm to midnight. On 1st August musicians and bands will play on the main stage in the town centre. In other parts of the town there will be folklore music, Alphorn blowing and yodelling. A parade through the town will start at 7.30pm, ending with an official National Day celebration in the main square. After it gets dark the firework display by the lake begins.
Other festivities which will take place in the Lucerne area include what promises to be a spectacular ascent of Mount Titlis by cable car at sunrise, between 4.15 and 5.30am. The lucky people who buy tickets for this event will also enjoy a lavish buffet breakfast.
Anyone in the lakeside town of Fluelen will be able to enjoy traditional musical entertainment during the day as well as regional alphorn players and flag throwers. When darkness falls they will also be treated to a display of fireworks against the backdrop of Lake Lucerne.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Switzerland on 1st August you’ll have some marvellous entertainment and you’ll see the Swiss enjoying a jolly good party.