Jura Independence Day in Switzerland Date in the current year: June 23, 2024

Jura Independence Day in Switzerland On June 23, the Swiss canton of Jura celebrates its Independence Day. Jura is the newest canton of Switzerland; it was de facto created in 1975 and officially joined the Swiss Confederation in 1979.

The history of the so-called Jurassic separatism dates back to the 14th century, when a French-speaking area in the Jura Mountains became part of the German-speaking canton of Bern after the Burgundian wars between the Old Swiss Confederacy and the Duchy of Burgundy. During the Reformation in Switzerland, the German-speaking population of Bern began to convert to Protestantism, which aggravated the conflict between the French-speaking Catholic population of Jura and the rest of the canton of Bern.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Jura joined the Helvetic Republic as part of the Prince-Bishopic of Basel. However, following the defeat of Napoleon, representatives of European states gathered in Vienna to resize the main powers and settle new boundaries, ensuring balance, stability, and long-lasting piece. Interestingly, every Swiss canton had its own delegation at the Congress of Vienna.

According to the Final Act, signed in June 1815, the territory of Jura was given back to Bern in order to compensate for the sovereignty of the canton of Vaud that had split from Bern. The “Jurassic question” in Swiss politics arose after World War II. The first separatist organization in Jura, the Moutier Committe (Comité de Moutier), was formed in 1947. In response to the separatist movement, anti-separatist groups began to emerge.

Up until the 1960s, cultural and political conflicts between the French-speaking and the German-speaking residents of Bern were relatively minor. However, in 1963, a group of militant young separatists known as the rams initiated a series of small-scale provocations and protests. They were mostly inspired by the liberation movements in African and Asian colonies. In 1967, the government of Bern had to intervene and form a special commission tasked with resolving the conflict.

On June 23, 1974, a cantonal poll was held. A little more than half of voters supported the secession of Jura from Bern and formation of a new canton. However, in a second poll held in March 1975, only three districts of Jura voted in favor of seceding, while the other four opted to remain with Bern. As a result, the canton of Jura was made up from the districts of Delémont, Franches-Montagnes, and Porrentruy.

The constitution of Jura was ratified in 1977. A year later, a national referendum was held, where the population of Switzerland supported the accession of Jura to the Confederation. The new canton officially joined the Swiss Confederation on January 1, 1979.

June 23, the anniversary of the first cantonal referendum, is officially celebrated in Jura as Independence Day. It is a public holiday and a non-working day in the canton. By the way, some other cantons also have their own public holidays that are not celebrated in the rest of Switzerland. For example, Neuchâtel celebrates Republic Day on March 1, and Geneva observes Genevan fast (Jeûne genevois) on the Thursday after the first Sunday in September.

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Jura Independence Day in Switzerland, holidays in Switzerland, public holidays, holidays in Jura