Which Swiss canton has the most public holidays?

Which Swiss canton has the most public holidays?

A new report by Watson has revealed which towns, cities and cantons in Switzerland have the most public holidays. The study found that the number of days off workers get a year can vary by up to seven days depending on where they live, with some towns getting 16 public holidays a year!

Each canton in Switzerland gets to choose its own holidays

Unlike other nations which have nationalised days off, each Swiss canton is able to decide what events they should offer as public holidays (days where people get a day off work without taking any holiday leave). The only nationally enforced holidays in Switzerland are August 1 - Swiss national day - New Year’s Day, and the traditional Christian holidays of Christmas, Easter and Ascension.

First, the study looked at which cantons have the fewest public holidays each year: Watson found that those who love their jobs with a passion and dare not think of taking any paid leave should move to Canton Neuchâtel, Graubünden, Solothurn or Appenzell Ausserrhoden. Here, people are only given eight public holidays a year - not to mention years when these holidays fall on a weekend and are subsequently not reimbursed.

Which Swiss canton has the most public holidays?

Building on its reputation as one of the happiest and sunniest cantons in Switzerland, Canton Ticino is also the place with the most public holidays a year. The Italian-speaking canton has 15 paid holidays every year, one of the most generous offerings in Europe. This means, if the timing is right, workers in Ticino with full-time work contracts will be able to take more than a month and a half off work every year.

Along with the more commonly known celebrations, most of Ticino’s unique holidays are related to Christian events - Saint Joseph’s Day on March 19, Saint Peter and Saint Paul Day on June 29 and Conception on December 8, to name but a few.

In joint second place with 14 days off are two of the founding cantons of Switzerland: Uri and Schwyz. Once again, Catholic religious events are the main reason for the high number of holidays, with the two cantons being the only place in Switzerland that has Three Kings’ Day as a day off for all workers. Jura rounded out the podium places with 13, largely thanks to June 23 - a day used to celebrate the region's independence from Canton Bern.

Cantons with the most and least public holidays in Switzerland

In all, the number of public holidays for each Swiss canton is:

  1. Ticino (15)
  2. Uri, Schwyz (14)
  3. Jura (13)
  4. Appenzell Innerrhoden (12)
  5. Bern, Obwalden, Nidwalden, Glarus, Thurgau (10)
  6. Geneva, Vaud, Valais, Fribourg, Lucerne, Basel-Stadt, Basel-Land, Aargau, Zurich, Zug, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen (9)
  7. Neuchâtel, Graubünden, Solothurn, Appenzell Ausserrhoden (8)

However, those really wanting the greatest number of holidays possible should head to Bellinzona, as the town has a whopping 16 public holidays a year - the joint highest in the country alongside Einselden, Canton Schwyz.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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