Centuries-old local, regional and national traditions are still alive in Switzerland today. They are very diverse, and often related to the seasons of the year. Alphorns and yodelling are well known. Both typical customs of mountainous areas, they are part of many festivals.

Three men with alphorns walk along a country road.
Playing the alphorn, yodelling and flag throwing are traditions that are practised almost all over Switzerland. © FDFA, Presence Switzerland

Customs and traditions are highly valued in Switzerland and are as diverse as they are rich. They often stem from the local farming and manual labour contexts or from life in alpine areas. Numerous customs and folkloric festivals are related to the seasons. Yodelling, Swiss wrestling, gymnastics, shooting, costume and other festivals take place at national level at regular intervals, always in a different place.

Traditions – facts and figures

Playing jass and hornussen is just as much a part of the land of Heidi as the Patrouille des Glaciers.

Spring festivals and customs

Making snowmen explode and smashing two eggs against each other: the wild ways of Switzerland's extraordinary springtime traditions.

Summer festivals and customs

How the Swiss wrestling king is chosen and why Swiss cows climb mountains – farming traditions and the national holiday.

Autumn festivals and customs

'Bénichon'", the 'Unspunnenfest' and the 'Zibelemärit' – the multifaceted festivals that abound in autumn are just as diverse as their various names, but they have got something in common: the harvest is a time for celebration.

Winter festivals and customs

Find out who 'Samichlaus and Schmutzli' are and why most Swiss festivities are held in winter.

Swiss flag

Back in the 14th century, Swiss soldiers were already sewing a white cross onto their chain mail. The red background was added later on.

National holiday and national anthem

Swiss National Day, celebrated on 1 August, features flags, fireworks, speeches and the Swiss Psalm.