August 1st is the Swiss National Day, usually celebrated across Switzerland with firework displays and community gatherings. Villages typically offer pea soup and barbequed sausages to the locals, the village Major makes a speech, and the local band shows off their skills while families and friends get together, children run around, and individuals let off the odd firework. As 10pm approaches, the sky lights up as towns and cities and village after village, let off their displays.
However, this year was strangely quiet. The majority of places cancelled their traditionnal celebrations to avoid encouraging large crowds, as we continue to fight the COVID threat.
Music still played, small groups let off their own fireworks, barbeques were held by the lake, on balconies and in gardens, and the Swiss flag was proudly dominant throughout, but overall, the evening was quieter than usual and the festivities toned down.
Hopefully next year life will have returned to normal, we will have learnt that many of the extravagances we take for granted aren’t necessary and will appreciate others all the more for having missed them this year.