Switzerland celebrates National Day

The Swiss National Day is the national holiday of Switzerland, set on August 1. It is an official national holiday since 1994, although the day had been suggested for the celebration of the foundation of the Swiss Confederacy as early as 1889.The date 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 first assumed great importance in a report by the Federal Department of Home Affairs of November 21, 1889, suggesting a celebration in Bern 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 November 8 Rütlischwur, 1307 in popular consciousness in the 20th century, specifically after the 650th anniversary celebrations of 1941.1 August is today celebrated each year with paper lantern parades, bonfires, hanging strings of Swiss flags and fireworks.The day of independence is typically celebrated at a local, municipality level though certain events draw nation-wide attention. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen has illuminated its 25 meter high waterfalls for special events. Beginning in 1920, the waterfall has been regularly lit for the national holiday and since 1966 is now lit only for this holiday. At the historic location of Rütli Meadow above Lake Lucerne, a representational celebration is staged in the location where the legendary pledge of alliance, the Rütlischwur is said to have taken place.Last year, Switzerland and Romania marked 100 years of bilateral diplomatic ties. Throughout the last century, ties between the two countries grew stronger, based on shared values such as respect for fundamental rights and liberties and promotion of democracy and the rule of law. Economic ties and trade between the two countries are also thriving, Switzerland being the eighth biggest investor in Romania.

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