Swiss cantons give the green light for using fireworks on August 1

Swiss cantons give the green light for using fireworks on August 1

As Swiss National Day approaches, many local officials have been debating whether to allow the public to use fireworks to commemorate the occasion. Now, the vast majority of cantons in Switzerland have given the green light for public and private fireworks displays this August 1. Here’s what you need to know.

Swiss weather gives fireworks a chance in 2023

With this summer set to be one of the hottest on record, thanks to recent heatwaves and a relative lack of rain, many were debating whether cantons, cities and local councils (Gemeinden) would ban the use of fireworks on August 1, something most towns did last year. Typically, permission to use fireworks on select Swiss holidays is tied to the risk of forest fires in each area, as dictated by the Swiss Natural Hazards portal. 

However, it seems as though the weather in Switzerland heard these debates and decided to settle them once and for all, with fairly consistent rainfall and low temperatures dominating the country’s German-speaking region in recent weeks. Now, with celebrations near, here are the cantons that will and will not allow fireworks to be used on Swiss National Day on August 1, 2023.

Where are fireworks allowed in Switzerland this August 1?

Largely thanks to recent rainfall, the following cantons have announced that fireworks will be permitted this year:

  • Appenzell Innerrhoden
  • Graubünden
  • Nidwalden
  • Obwalden
  • Schwyz
  • Solothurn
  • Ticino
  • Uri
  • Zug

While allowing them in general, local authorities in these cantons have advised caution when handling fireworks, and have instructed people to avoid setting them off in or near wooded areas:

  • Basel-Land
  • Basel-Stadt
  • Bern
  • Glarus
  • Lucerne
  • Neuchâtel 
  • Fribourg
  • St. Gallen 
  • Thurgau
  • Aargau
  • Appenzell Ausserhoden
  • Jura
  • Schaffhausen
  • Zurich
  • Vaud

It’s important to bear in mind that some towns in these cantons will have local-specific rules and bans relating to fireworks. In Davos and St. Moritz in Graubünden, for example, fireworks are banned in order to protect wildlife, while the Zurich communities of Höri and Niederglatt have to do without fireworks because of their proximity to Zurich Airport

What’s more, while officially not banned canton-wide, many local areas in these regions will only make a final decision on using fireworks around July 31. Make sure to always be in tune with the rules in your local area, and stay regularly updated on the forest fire risk by using the Swiss Natural Hazards portal

Which areas of Switzerland have banned fireworks on August 1?

Due to drought in parts of the Romande region, two French-speaking cantons have decided to forgo fireworks this year. Canton Valais, the site of the recent forest fire, has banned fireworks and fires entirely until further notice.

In Geneva, authorities confirmed that it has banned the public sale and use of fireworks until further notice. Only professional fireworks displays and bonfires are permitted - events which will be closely supervised by the fire brigade. The population is also encouraged to not light fires outdoors.

Fireworks displays on August 1, 2023

With National Day being only one of two opportunities to set off fireworks in Switzerland, it’s important to know what the rules are. If you live in one of the cantons that have allowed fireworks, but aren’t sure what regulations to follow, check out our guide to using fireworks in Switzerland.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Editor for Switzerland at IamExpat Media. Jan studied History at the University of York and Broadcast Journalism at the University of Sheffield. Though born in York, Jan has lived most...

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