Discovering Federal and Cantonal Holidays in Switzerland
I do not expect any sympathy for this post but I have to share my thoughts nonetheless … .
The bane of pseudo-retirement is never knowing the day of the week or whether the day is a holiday. I headed out to do some shopping this afternoon grateful to be outside on such a beautiful summer day. I remarked to myself that there were a lot of bicyclists on the road and boats on the lake. It looked, felt, and even smelt like summer. In fact, it seemed both awfully quite and strangely busy at the same time.
I arrived at the supermarket thinking, “Ahh, this is going to be a breeze – in an out”. The problem was I nearly crashed into the gate blocking the entrance to the parking garage. I can tell you this, I would have paid money to see the look on my own face. It is not uncommon that there is a seemingly arbitrary holiday popping up, but it is rare that I am surprised by it. Nevertheless, it is frequently the case that when the market is closed in my own town there will be one open in the next canton.
Knowing this, I hit the freeway and headed to my backup supermarket. There were a few things I needed to pick up from there anyway so I was quite content with the detour. I was, that is, until I discovered it was closed too. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit foolish and was a glad that no one was around to see me stop in the garage entrance lane and call my husband: “Hey, is today a bloody holiday or what?” Response, “ Could be. I think August 15th means something ….”
So, there you have it! It’s not just me!
In the end, I learned that August 15th is Assumption Day. Now here is the interesting part: Assumption day is a holiday only if you are in one of the following Cantons: Aargau, Appenzell Innerhoden, Fribourg, Jura, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Ticino, Uri, Valais and Zug. My family and friends in Vaud, for example, have to work.
The good news is that I discovered an interesting interactive website that lets you select where you are and see which holidays the Canton observes. This is a definite boon and a site I recommend you bookmark. They have an android app too, but it is very young and I can not recommend it personally. Check it out, though, and decide for yourself and stay informed about Federal and Cantonal Holidays in Switzerland.