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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.

Is Saint Joseph's Day a Public Holiday?

Saint Joseph's Day is a public holiday in 9 cantons, where it is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Saint Joseph is the earthly father of Jesus Christ.

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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
  • Solothurn

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

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday TypeArea
2015ThuMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2016SatMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2017SunMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2018MonMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2019TueMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2020ThuMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2021FriMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2022SatMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2023SunMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2024TueMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
2025WedMar 19Saint Joseph's DayCommon local holidayGR*, LU*, NW, SO*, SZ, TI, UR, VS, ZG*
* Only some parts of Graubünden, Lucerne, Solothurn, and Zug observe this holiday.

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