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New Year's Day

New Year's Day 2019 and 2020

A New Year holiday is observed every 1 January in Switzerland, as in most countries around the world. New Year’s Eve celebrations on 31 December give way to a day of rest and new year’s resolutions on the first day of the first month of the year.

YearDateDayHolidayCantons
20191 JanTueNew Year's Day National
31 DecTueNew Year's Eve GL
20201 JanWedNew Year's Day National
31 DecThuNew Year's Eve GL

Swiss traditionally gather together as a family every New Year’s Eve to celebrate and await the transition from 31 December to 1 January. They feast, indulge on candy, pastries, and other desserts, and chat and catch up with relatives and old friends.

There are large annual fireworks events put on every year in Switzerland over Lake Zurich and over the Limmat River, and these celebrations also feature the tolling of large church bells right at midnight. In the city of Zurich, loud music is interspersed with the fireworks instead of church bells.

Interestingly, some people in Switzerland keep New Year’s in accord with both the Gregorian and Julian calendars. Thus, they party on 31 December and then do so again on 13 January. The second new year’s day is a time for exchanging presents and of watching the costumed street performers “chase evil spirits away.”

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