Sunday, August 1, 2010

Swiss National Day
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The flag of Switzerland.

The Swiss National Day (German: Schweizer Bundesfeier; French: Fête nationale Suisse; Italian: Festa nazionale svizzera; Romansh: Fiasta naziunala Svizra) is set on 1 August. It has been an official national holiday since 1994, following a public vote on 26 September 1993 although the day had been suggested for the celebration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy as early as 1889.
[edit] History
Further information: Historiography of Switzerland, Swiss Federal Charter, and Rütlischwur

The date is is inspired by the date of the Federal Charter of 1291, placed in "early August" (primo incipiente mense Augusto). The document is one of several dozen pacts attested for the territory of Switzerland in the period of the mid 13th to mid 14th century. The foundation of the Old Swiss Confederacy had been mostly associated with the Bund of Brunnen of 1315, or with the Rütlischwur, dated to 1307 by Aegidius Tschudi.

The Federal Charter of 1291 was first attached a greater importance in a report by the Federal Department of Home Affairs of 21 November of 1889, suggesting a celebration in Berne in 1891 that would combine the city's 700th anniversary with the Confederacy's 600th anniversary.

The date of the Federal Charter came to replace the formerly more prominent, traditional date of the Rütlischwur of 8 November 1307 in popular consciousness in the 20th century, spefcifically after the 650th anniversary celebrations of 1941.

1 August was declared an official national holiday in 1993 and first celebrated on an annual basis in 1994. It is today celebrated each year on 1 August with town-wide paper lantern parades, bonfires, hanging strings of Swiss flags and fireworks.