Happy Swiss Day!

Today is August 1st, which means it is the Swiss national holiday!

This is the day we celebrate cheese, chocolate, alp horns, yodelling and all things Swiss.

Okay, there’s more to Switzerland than that. So in honor of August 1st, here’s a list of fun facts you might not know about Switzerland!

1. Switzerland has four official languages

German, French, Italian and Romanche. The majority speak German, followed by French, then Italian and finally Romanche.

2. Romanche is pretty cool

Romanche is a Romance language spoken by about 60,000 people, mostly in the canton of Grisons.

It kind of sounds like a blend of Italian, French with a touch of German.

3. Switzerland is made up of Cantons

What are Cantons? Well, they’re kind of like states, just much tinier.

There are twenty-six in total, but I’m not going to list them here. It’d made this article too long. You can find the list here.

4. The original three Cantons formed in 1291

According to legend, in 1291, the leaders in Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden got together and said, “We hate the Habsburgs!”

They agreed to work together to form an autonomous region inside the Holy Roman Empire, and gradually other Cantons joined the party!

5. The Swiss flag is square!

Apparently, the only other country to have a square flag is the Vatican City. Go figure!

There’s More!

There’s a lot more to Switzerland than chocolate, cheese and cows (though those are admittedly very important elements in our culture.

Take a look at Mission 1st August, a website put together for this year’s rather unusual Swiss day celebrations. It’s full of fun activities, recipes, videos and more.

Happy August 1st to all my Swiss friends out there!