Independence of Jura Day is a public holiday in the Swiss Canton of Jura every 23 June. It celebrates the vote to secede from the Canton of Bern that led to the formation of Switzerland’s newest canton (Jura) in 1974.
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The region of Jura had been added to Bern back in the early 1800’s but had never fully lost its desire to be separated from it again.
The conflict between those in Jura who wanted to secede from Bern and those who did not got tense and violent at points. A group called “the rams” favoured independence, while “the wild boars” were formed to oppose it. The two groups went head to head as the issue fomented more and more.
Finally, a canton commission in Bern looked into the matter in 1967. On 23 June 1974, it was decided to allow the formation of a new canton called Jura. But in 1975, three districts of the region of Jura voted to remain with Bern instead. Only four out of seven districts voted to secede.
As a result of the split, the district of Laufon was geographically separated from Bern, of which it was a part. Therefore, in 1980, it voted to join the neighbouring canton of Basel. And finally bringing the “shake up” to a conclusion, the city of Vellerat voted to join Jura in 1996 because it was in Bern but the only road to Vellerat was from Jura.