August 1st is celebrated exclusively within the communities; a radio or television broadcast by the President of the Swiss Confederation is the only exception to this esteemed federal principle. Communal celebrations comprise solemn words spoken by a prominent public figure from political or cultural life, accompanied by a concert or choire, gymnastic presentations, and the community singing the national anthem.
Wealthy communities or tourist offices may also sponsor a display of fireworks. Bonfires, mainly on hills and other elevated spots, commemorate the expulsion of foreign bailiffs in the fourteenth century, the news of which were spread in this manner in those days. Children carrying lighted paper lanterns roam the streets at night. Public and private buildings are decorated with national, cantonal, and community flags, and the bakers produce special bread rolls with a small Swiss flag on top.
A special kind of celebration takes place at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen. From mid-nineteenth century onwards, the waterfall has been illuminated on special occasions. Since 1920, it has been illuminated regularly on August 1, and since 1966 exclusively so. On the same day, a magnificent fireworks display also attracts throngs of spectators to this special site.
A representative celebration is staged at the Rütli Meadow in the canton of Uri above Lake Lucerne. It takes place in the same place where the legendary pledge of alliance was pronounced.
If arithmetic's is not an opinion according to my maths the alliance of 1291 is today 1st of August 2011, 720 years old. Or is a ticinese in London incompetent to add up or has he little grasp of the English language Happy first of august to the originator of this statement. Joe Broggini 1st August 2011
Swiss National Day in NYC
The Swiss National Day in New York City is held annually in Manhattan. For more information please visit http://sndnyc.org