Berchtolds Day in Switzerland in 2021

Berchtolds Day in Switzerland in 2021

  How long until Berchtolds Day?
This holiday next takes place in 94 days.
  Dates of Berchtolds Day in Switzerland
2022 Jan 2
AargauSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
BernSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
FribourgSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
GlarusSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
JuraSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
LucerneSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
NeuchâtelSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ObwaldenSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SchaffhausenSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SolothurnSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ThurgauSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
VaudSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ZurichSun, Jan 2Regional Holiday
2021 Jan 2
AargauSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
BernSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
FribourgSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
GlarusSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
JuraSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
LucerneSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
NeuchâtelSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ObwaldenSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SchaffhausenSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SolothurnSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ThurgauSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
VaudSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ZurichSat, Jan 2Regional Holiday
2020 Jan 2
AargauThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
BernThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
FribourgThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
GlarusThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
JuraThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
LucerneThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
NeuchâtelThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ObwaldenThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SchaffhausenThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SolothurnThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ThurgauThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
VaudThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ZurichThu, Jan 2Regional Holiday
2019 Jan 2
AargauWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
BernWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
FribourgWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
GlarusWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
JuraWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
LucerneWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
NeuchâtelWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ObwaldenWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SchaffhausenWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SolothurnWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ThurgauWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
VaudWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ZurichWed, Jan 2Regional Holiday
2018 Jan 2
AargauTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
BernTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
FribourgTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
GlarusTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
JuraTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
LucerneTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
NeuchâtelTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ObwaldenTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SchaffhausenTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
SolothurnTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ThurgauTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
VaudTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
ZurichTue, Jan 2Regional Holiday
  Summary
The holiday commemorates Duke Berchtold V, who founded Bern, the capital of Switzerland.
  Berchtolds Day in other countries
Berchtolds Day internationally
  Which regions observe Berchtolds Day in 2021?
  AargauJan 2Regional Holiday
  BernJan 2Regional Holiday
  FribourgJan 2Regional Holiday
  GlarusJan 2Regional Holiday
  JuraJan 2Regional Holiday
  LucerneJan 2Regional Holiday
  NeuchâtelJan 2Regional Holiday
  ObwaldenJan 2Regional Holiday
  SchaffhausenJan 2Regional Holiday
  SolothurnJan 2Regional Holiday
  ThurgauJan 2Regional Holiday
  VaudJan 2Regional Holiday
  ZurichJan 2Regional Holiday

When is Berchtold's Day?

Berchtold's Day ('Berchtoldstag') is always celebrated on 2 January. It is not moved to a working day if it falls on a weekend.

This day is a public holiday in the following cantons: Aargau, Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Jura, Lucerne, Neuchâtel, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Solothurn, Thurgau, Vaud, Zug, and Zurich.

History of Berchtold's Day

Berchtold's Day commemorates Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen (d. 1218), who founded Bern, the capital of Switzerland, in the twelfth-century.

According to legend, he left on a hunt declaring he would name his fledgling city after the first animal he killed. The hunting trip was a success and the Duke managed to kill a bear, or Bern in German.

Despite many references to the day as St. Berchtold's day, he wasn't a saint (certainly not to bears anyway). We are just so used to holidays in Europe being named after saints, that many people have automatically canonised the Duke.

How is Berchtold's Day celebrated?

Handily placed in the calendar, by the ever practical Swiss, to give an extra day to enjoy or recover from the New Year's celebrations, Berchtold's Day is a light-hearted, family orientated celebration.

Nuts

Though it's hard to see the immediate connection with killing a Bear, nuts form a large part of the celebration. Perhaps an explanation is that the Duke managed to kill a Squirrel rather than a Bear, and his exploits have become exaggerated during the intervening centuries?

Eating nuts and nut games, followed by singing and folk dancing are features of Berchtold Day gatherings.

Traditionally children will begin to hoard supplies of nuts in early autumn for Berchtold's Day, when they have a "nut feast".

One favourite game of the children is to try and make "hocks." You need five nuts to make a hock - four nuts placed close together, with a fifth placed on top. This feat of nut engineering may appear simple, but is surprisingly difficult to construct and maintain.

Though the author favours the Squirrel theory and would endorse the immediate re-naming of Berne as 'Eichkätzchen Stadt' (Squirrel Town); the nut element, like most holiday traditions, was most likely appropriated from a much older winter custom, when food such as nuts stored from the autumn harvest, would have been treats eaten to celebrate the turning of the seasons and that spring was now closer than Autumn.

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