Monday, August 1, 2011

Swiss National Day

August 1 is to the Swiss what July 4 is to Americans and July 14 is to the French. The Swiss celebrate their national day today because on August 1, 1291, three Alpine cantons—Schwyz, Unterwalden and Uri—swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the founding of Switzerland. Fireworks are a highpoint of the celebrations, just as they are in the United States, but in recent years an alternative celebration has been gaining in popularity—brunch on the farm. The idea was launched in 1993, as an initiative by the Swiss Farmers' Association. Visitors are served fresh farm produce and get to see something of farmers' lives. In 2005 about 430 farms took part, serving brunch to about 200,000 people.

Switzerland has been our second home and there is no place we'd rather be on August 1 than with our dear Swiss friends. That isn't possible this year, so we'll make do with some warm memories of an August 1 celebration we enjoyed a few years ago on a wonderful Swiss farm.

Fireworks photo: © swissinfo / Christoph Balsiger


Helene said...

Lovely post! My family spent six years in Switzerland in the 1960's and I spent kindergarten through fifth grade in Swiss schools. I was very fluent in Schweizerdeutsch. Lots of great memories!

Karen Stray Nolting said...

Grüezi, Helene! That's great . . . then you probably know how to pronounce "Chuchichäschtli"!!!