Knabenschiessen in Switzerland
Knabenschiessen is a traditional shooting competition in Zurich, Switzerland. The German word Knabe means “boy” and betrays the fact that traditionally only male contestants were admitted. However, with dwindling numbers of participants that monopoly was abolished in 1991 - and 1997 saw the first female winner. Knabenschiessen generally begins on the Saturday before the Federal Fast and lasts until the following Monday.
What Do People Do?
Every year about 5000 boys and girls aged 13 to 17 take part in the Knabenschiessen shooting competition. The contestant with the highest score is called Schützenkönig, which literally means “king of marksmen”. Nowadays, the occasion has evolved from a contest to a folk festival including fun fairs (Chilbi) offering spectacular rides and food stands.
Knabenschiessen is not an official holiday in Zurich. However, many businesses may close or have reduced opening hours on the last day of the festival period (Monday). Schools generally close on that day.
The Knabenschiessen shooting competition has been organized by Zurich's marksmen club (Schützengesellschaft) since 1898. The initial objective was to inspire the city's youth to join the Swiss army.
Female contestants were first admitted to the competition as late as 1991. In 1997, 15 year old Rachel Goldschmid became the first girl to win the contest.
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
Quick FactsKnabenschiessen is a traditional shooting competition in Zurich, Switzerland.
Knabenschiessen 2017Saturday, September 9, 2017 (Zurich)
Knabenschiessen 2018Saturday, September 8, 2018 (Zurich)
Name in other languages
Other holidays in September 2017 in Switzerland
- Jeune Genevois – Thursday, September 7, 2017
- Knabenschiessen – Sunday, September 10, 2017
- Knabenschiessen – Monday, September 11, 2017
- Swiss federal fast – Sunday, September 17, 2017