Unwrapping Switzerland – Guide to Gift Traditions in Switzerland

Switzerland is a beautiful country, with so much to see, experience, and explore. Whether you’re visiting this remarkable country, or know someone who lives there, knowing all about Switzerland and its many customs and traditions is something we highly recommend you look into. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide to celebrate the beautiful Swiss people, and to share gift traditions in Switzerland with you! 

Having been to Switzerland myself, I can tell you that this country was one of my absolute favorites to visit. I was lucky to have been there during the Christmas holidays and I’ve got to tell you, folks, I have never seen anything like it before! The beauty and customs I had the privilege of experiencing is something that I will never forget. Join me as I go through some of Switzerland’s most popular holidays, and how you can surprise and spoil your loved ones living there all year round. 

Most Popular Holidays to Send Gifts to Switzerland

New Year

New Year’s Day or “Neujahrstag” is a special occasion just as it is in the Western world. Celebrated on January 1st of the year, the Swiss people gather together with friends and family to welcome a new year for prosperity and health. Just before midnight, church bells all around the country ring out and swing for a few minutes as they “Ring out the Old Year.” At midnight, twelve chimes mark the presence of a new day and year. 

Easter

Easter is another well-loved and known tradition in Switzerland with a little twist to how we celebrate in the United States. Instead of colorful eggs delivered by a lifesize bunny, in Switzerland, the Cuckoo brings eggs for children to find on Easter Morning. The Cuckoo is also Switzerland’s symbol of growth and rebirth which makes it perfect for celebrating Easter and the Springtime. 

Swiss Day

On August 1st of every year, the people of Switzerland celebrate one of their most important holidays: the founding of the Swiss Confederation in 1291. Celebrations include fireworks, public speeches, concerts, and large gatherings of people. The main display takes place at the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen and alongside Lake Lucerne. Stay tuned later in this blog for more information regarding Swiss Day! 

Christmas

Not only is this my favorite holiday in general, but getting to spend it in Switzerland on vacation a few years ago solidified my love for the holiday and the country. Swiss people count down the days until the 24th and 25th of December with an Adventskranz or Advent Wreath. Around the country they host Christmas markets with delicious food, fun trinkets, and an array of people, love, and laughter. 

Cute little girl with two guinea pigs. Isolated on white background.

Celebrating Swiss Day In Switzerland

As promised earlier, Swiss Day is such a huge holiday for Switzerland, we knew it deserved its own spotlight feature. Instead of just telling you about Swiss Day, I thought it might be fun to give you ten awesome fun facts about Switzerland and Swiss Day! 

In April 1981, Switzerland finally adopted an official National Anthem. The Swiss Palm was given a 20-year trial run before finally becoming official!

Switzerland is one of the ONLY places in the world to have a square flag. The Olympic Games is one of the few times the square flag is allowed to be flown. 

Switzerland has four national languages, including French, German, Italian, and Romansh. 

A quarter of Switzerland’s population are inhabitants born outside of the country. 

It is illegal to own one Guinea Pig in Switzerland. Because they are such social creatures, owners must have a pair of them, so one does not feel lonely. 

You can read this blog online because the World Wide Web was invented in Switzerland in 1989 by Tim Berners Lee. (Thanks, Tim!)

St. Peter’s Church in Zurich has the largest church clock face in all of Europe. It measures 8.7m in diameter. 

Switzerland has the highest percentage of people over the age of 100 and the second largest life expectancy. 

Not at all surprising, but Switzerland eats the most chocolate in the entire world. The Swiss people consume almost 25lbs of chocolate per person per year. 

Although Switzerland is landlocked, they sport over 1500 bodies of water, and you’re never more than 10 miles from a lake no matter where you are. 

Special Customs & Gift Traditions in Switzerland

Gift giving in Switzerland is very comparable to the Western World. If you receive a gift in person, it is customary to smile and thank the person. If you receive it in the mail, oftentimes it is tradition to call your recipient to let them know if has arrived and thank them. It is also hugely popular in Switzerland to send hand-written thank you notes whenever it is possible. 

Box with chocolates isolated on a white background

If you’re visiting Switzerland, the Swiss people appreciate alcoholic gifts relating to your own country, such as wine, whiskey, or brandy (where appropriate). If you’re visiting someone’s home, a gift of flowers and chocolate also make wonderful gifts. 

Corporate Gift Traidtions in Switzerland

Corporate gift-giving in Switzerland has very similar customs and standards as around the world. It’s best not to send something too excessive so as it is not to be taken as a bribe, and bringing something from your home country is always a go-to gift in the corporate culture. Some things to keep in mind that are standard to Switzerland Corporate gifting are: 

Wait until the conclusion of negotiations before presenting a gift. 

Flowers are always appreciated but steer clear of Chrysanthemums, White Lilies, or Red Roses. 

Interpreters and guides prefer thoughtful gifts rather than tips. 

Scissors, cutlery, knives, or sharp objects are inappropriate gifts as this is seen as cutting bonds or relationships. 

You’ve learned a ton about Switzerland Gift Giving. Now what?

Send a gift to Switzerland.

Learn about another country’s gift traditions in our blog A Quick Guide to Giving Traditions in Japan

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