Today heavy rain showers arrived in Switzerland, giving the country a perfect day to cool down and reboot before the next heat wave arrives on Wednesday just in time for the August 1, our national holiday. Hopefully, you’ll all be able to reap the benefits of the short workweek and use the free day to do some exploring.
So, what can be done on August 1? Considering most people will have the day off, many stores will be closed, so if you’ve planned to go on an extended shopping trip, you’re out of luck and have to visit one of our neighbouring countries. However, you can enjoy a lot of interesting activities on your day off!
Spend the day at a body of water
One of the most relaxing activities I can imagine for August 1st is to gather your group of friends and family to seek out the nearest river, lake or pond and to enjoy the beautiful weather. Forecasts are predicting another round of temperatures above 30 degrees celsius, so having water nearby will serve as the perfect cool-down opportunities.
Celebrate at your local festivities
Most towns in Switzerland will have their own special celebrations planned for the national holiday, so make sure to give them a chance. They will probably include a speech by a local politician or business person about our country and heritage as well as a small concert by a regional choir or marching band. As for food and beverages, the village will most likely provide grilled specialities and local beer & wine. The atmosphere will obviously depend on the village you live in, but the festivities will give you a terrific glimpse of Swiss culture.
Discover Swiss history
Another way of celebrating August 1st is to learn more about Switzerland by visiting some of the most interesting historical places. The Swiss National Museum in Zurich and Historical Museum in Bern offer a great overview over the country’s formative years. Should the weather really be too nice to spend indoors, the Tell monument in Altdorf is worth a trip as you combine the excursion with a day of relaxation at the idyllic Lake Lucerne. The mythical Rütli, home of our foundation legends, has a traditional celebration, but tickets are sold out. Should you be lucky enough to have Friday off as well, a day trip to the roots of the country can serve to extend your holiday feeling.
Light up the sky with fireworks
First of all, this should only be attempted if you’re comfortable with fire and take all necessary precautions to ensure your safety. But this year is the last year amateurs can light up some impressive fireworks without taking a course and getting a permit. Thanks to some strict laws, August 1st is only one of two dates that permit lighting fireworks(the other one being New Year’s Eve). You can also hike up to an elevated position to enjoy the countless regional fireworks.
So, what will you be doing on August 1st? Are you in the country or have you chosen to escape the festivities with a planned holiday?
Personally, I’ll be spending the day with friends, following the first tip on this list!