There will be a few sore heads in Switzerland today, and not just because of the Street Parade techno festival that has taken over Zurich. You see, August 1st is Swiss national day. And It has been a "Feiertag" (day of celebration) marking the birth of the country since 1891.
But the announcement of an allegiance between three Swiss cantons to form what is now the Switzerland we know and love today actually happened in 1291, some 600 years earlier. As is the Swiss way, they probably didn't want to make a fuss.
Celebrations range from family dinners to village fetes or even giant firework displays.
But for me, there are three things in particular that make Swiss national day special:
1. Swiss cross buns
People often ask me what I like most about living in Switzerland. Well, I reply, the flag is a big plus! (groan). On a serious note, I do quite like the Swiss flag. You can't beat the union flag of the Great British isles of course, but the white cross on a red background is simple and iconic. Well, again, the Swiss don't like to make a fuss.
Apart from when it comes to decorating baked goods, that is. The run-up to August 1st sees bakeries and supermarkets filled with treats bearing the national flag. I even got hard boiled eggs painted with the flag the other day. It's the sweeter side of patriotism and I like it!
2. It really is a national holiday
...So all in Switzerland get the day off. Whether you're from the French-speaking part, talk Swiss German, reside in the Italian bit or are expats like us, you are free to enjoy the festivities. At a time of year when the weather is usually excellent for doing super Swiss things like hiking. And even if it's raining you can stay inside and eat cakes with the Swiss flag on. Or you can do what we did this year and use a long weekend to go somewhere else - I'm currently writing this in leafy Surrey!
But before you report my lack of allegiance to my new homeland to the authorities, I know plenty of Swiss people who are doing the same (travelling abroad, not visiting Surrey). I don't think it's too frowned upon. As you may be aware, the Swiss don't like to make a fuss.
3. It's also Yorkshire Day!
Ee by gum! August 1st isn't just the designated day for celebrating Switzerland's existence but that of the county of Yorkshire too. "Ey up', I hear you cry! "How can I celebrate both these remarkable events if they are on the same day?!"
Fear not, this blog isn't known as a font of knowledge for "nowt"! As the famous Betty's and Taylor's of Harrogate was founded by a Swiss baker back in 1919, they celebrate both occasions in their six tea rooms across Yorkshire!
I hear booking is recommended but that you'll still be welcomed if you turn up unannounced. There's just one condition: don't make a fuss.
Mike Stuart moved to Switzerland in 2013 when his better half Zoë landed a job in Zurich.