Zürich panorama by @chisenschmid.
Dates of Knabenschiessen
This Swiss regional public holiday is celebrated in Zürich on the afternoon of the Monday after the second weekend in September.
Knabenschiessen is a traditional shooting competition for teenagers and held on the second weekend of September each year.
The Monday afternoon is a holiday observed across the city. Even though this is only a half day holiday, many workers will take the morning as holiday to create a long weekend or work from home in the morning. If planning a meeting or business trip to Zürich, our advice is to treat this day as a non-working day.
This regional festival is one of the oldest festivals in Zürich.
While the date of the first festival is officially 1889, the custom can be dated back to older roots in the 17th century.
The competition is open to 13-17 year old boys ("Knaben") and girls in the canton of Zürich. The competition has been open to female participants since 1991. In recent years, girls have been outperforming the boys.
The shooting within the competition is done with the Swiss Army ordinance rifle, which the children will encounter a few years later as they do their national service.
The competition is held in the shooting range at Albisgütli on the slope of Üetliberg mountain.
Extra attractions such as a Funfair and parade add to the event and provide something for everyone.