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Welcome 2019! Revellers take to the streets to celebrate New Year

fireworks over Zurich

Fireworks illuminate the sky above Zurich early January 1, 2019


Thousands of people have been welcoming in 2019 in street parties across Switzerland. The highlight: the traditional firework displays.

More than 150,000 people turned up in Zurich for a New Year’s Party that included 20 minutes of fireworks over Lake Zurich. Since last year the fireworks have not been sent up quite so high into the sky to avoid the display being covered by cloud and fog – nevertheless a few rockets were sent up to 350 metres.

Geneva also saw a big public event at the lakeside, with more than 40,000 visitors. There was music for most of the night and fireworks to see in the New Year.

Bells were a feature of the celebrations in Bern and Basel. Thousands gathered on the Münsterplatz in the capital armed with bubbly to toast in the New Year to the chimes of the cathedral bells. People also came together in front of Basel’s cathedral to hear the largest bell count down to 2019. There were also fireworks over the river Rhine.

Some impressions of the fireworks in Basel and Geneva can be seen below in this clip from Swiss public television SRF.


fireworks in Basel and Geneva

As traditional, lights turned the cathedral tower red in Lausanne, and music came in the form of an organ concert.

Police in Zurich and Basel reported that the night’s celebrations were largely peaceful.

There was no official party in St Gallen, but people gathered in the centre nonetheless. For security reasons, and out of respect of the St Gallen Abbey and Library – a UNESCO World Heritage site – no fireworks were allowed.

People celebrating New Year in Lugano

Champagne also flowed in Lugano, in Italian-speaking Switzerland

(© Keystone / Ti-Press)

And residents and visitors in Lucerne will have to wait a little longer for their fireworks – the display, which is financed by local hotels and organisations, is scheduled to take place on the evening of January 1external link.


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