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Saint Joseph's Day in Switzerland

St. Joseph's Day is a Christian holiday celebrated every year on March 19. It is a public holiday in those parts of Switzerland that boast a predominantly Catholic population. In Christian belief, Saint Joseph is the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Saint Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus Christ.
Saint Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus Christ.
©iStockphoto.com/piccerella

What Do People Do?

Although St. Joseph's Day still is a public holiday in large areas of Switzerland, it has received less and less attention in past years. Many businesses remain open for the day.

Public Life

St. Joseph's Day is a public holiday or “silent day” in the following cantons:

  • Nidwalden
  • Schwyz
  • Ticino
  • Uri
  • Valais

It is also a public holiday in some communes of the following cantons:

  • Graubünden
  • Lucerne
  • Zug

Offices, banks and schools are generally closed on St. Joseph's Day in these areas, although there may be exceptions. Many businesses remain open.

Background

According to the gospels, Saint Joseph of Nazareth was a carpenter. For this reason, he is considered the patron saint of craftspeople. The first mention of St. Joseph's Day stems from the year 1621.

Saint Joseph's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday TypeWhere It is Observed
FriMar 192010Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
SatMar 192011Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
MonMar 192012Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
TueMar 192013Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
WedMar 192014Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
ThuMar 192015Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
SatMar 192016Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
SunMar 192017Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
MonMar 192018Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
TueMar 192019Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
ThuMar 192020Saint Joseph's DayCommon Local holidaysGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS
* Holiday is partly observed in Graubünden, Lucerne, Solothurn

Quick Facts

St. Joseph's Day is a public holiday in the predominantly Catholic regions of Switzerland.

Saint Joseph's Day 2017

Sunday, March 19, 2017 (Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais)

Saint Joseph's Day 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018 (Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Schwyz, Solothurn, Ticino, Uri, Valais)

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Name in other languages

NameLanguage
JosefstagGerman
Saint JosephFrench
San GiuseppeItalian
Saint JosefRomansh
Saint Joseph's DayEnglish

List of dates for other years

Fun Holiday on March 19, 2017

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