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Labour Day

Labour Day 2019 and 2020

Labour Day is not a holiday in every canton of Switzerland, but it is a public holiday in Zurich and in 9 other cantons. Many businesses will close down for the day, and it is generally a day of rest and enjoyment of the fresh spring weather.

Year Date Day Holiday Cantons
2019 1 May Wed Labour Day BL, BS, JU, LU, NE,
SH, SO, TG, TI &
ZH
2020 1 May Fri Labour Day BL, BS, JU, LU, NE,
SH, SO, TG, TI &
ZH

The spring celebration aspect of the holiday hails back to ancient May Day celebrations, and to the commemoration of “survival of the Black Death” in Medieval times. The labour protest aspect dates only from the late 19th Century, and was originally closely associated with socialism or even Communism.

But today, Labour Day in Switzerland is very low key, for most. Some others, however, have been known to organise protests against staff cuts or demanding better labour laws and working conditions.

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