A week of weekends

April 17, 2014, 1 Comment

Coop Easter

Today it’s Saturday in Switzerland. Your calendar might say Thursday but it’s wrong. Today is a Swiss Saturday. That’s because today is Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. And since Good Friday is a both a holy day and a holiday in most of the country (parts of Ticino and Valais have different ideas), it is a Sunday. So therefore today is called Gründonnerstag or Jeudi saint but is the day before a Sunday so is a Saturday. It’s all very logical to Swiss minds.

In Switzerland, public holidays count as Sundays, at least in terms of what’s allowed and what’s not. So that means no shopping, no DIY, no recycling and no mowing the lawns. And since public holidays are classed as Sundays, it follows that the day before them are Saturdays (even if they are not), when shops close earlier.

The only time the day before a public holiday isn’t a Saturday is when it’s a Sunday. Then it stays a Sunday as they are more important than Saturdays. That all means that this week is one of weekends. Starting with today the next seven days are:

Saturday, Sunday, Saturday, Sunday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Easter Migros

Or in other words: Maundy Thursday (=Saturday), Good Friday (=Sunday/holiday), Easter Saturday (= a real Saturday), Easter Sunday (= a real Sunday), Easter Monday (=Sunday/holiday), and then back to normal.

It’s quite easy to understand until you visit a canton which has different public holidays from the others and realise that the shops are shut. Live in a Protestant canton like Zurich and visit a Catholic one like Lucerne on 15 August and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Not forgetting that in 40 days’ time it’s Ascension Day, which always falls on a Thursday, turning it into another Sunday preceded by a Wednesday disguised as a Saturday. And then there’s Swiss National Day on 1 August, this year a Friday, turning the end of that week into Saturday, Sunday, Saturday, Sunday. Weekend days galore!

With that said, I’d better pop out to the shops before they close and buy my Easter cake. Happy Easter!

Easter cakes

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