Berchtold Day

Berchtold Day is a holiday that’s observed in some cantons of Switzerland on the 2nd of January each year. Also known as Bärzelitag or Berchtoldstag, this holiday is one in which people get together in restaurants or pubs, hanging out with one another and exchanging New Year’s greetings and sometimes gifts.

Although the origin of this holiday isn’t really known to this day, some believe that this holiday commemorates Duke Berchtold V of Zähringen, who founded the capital of Switzerland in the 12th century. It’s been a holiday ever since.

The History Of Berchtold Day

According to this legend, Duke Berchtold V left on a hunt and vowed that he would name the fledgling capital city after the first animal that he had killed on that day. He just so happened to kill a bear, so he would go on to name the city Bern-which is “bear” in German.

Observing Berchtold Day

A large part of this celebration centers around nuts, so much so that it’s been called the “nut feast.” People will give them as gifts, children will play games with them, and people will of course cook and eat with nuts. In fact, people will begin hoarding nuts during the autumn months so they have plenty for this celebration.

As we said earlier, people also would spend the day socializing with friends and family members-sometimes at home and sometimes in restaurants or pubs. People also use the hashtag #BerchtoldDay on their social media accounts for the day.

Where is it celebrated?
Switzerland (Common local holidays)
When is it?
This year (2023)
January 2 Monday
Next year (2024)
January 2 Tuesday
Last year (2022)
January 2 Sunday