Lichterschwimmen in Zurich

Lichterschwimmen courtesy of Zurich Tourism

Photo courtesy of Zurich Tourism


Lichterschwimmen in Zurich Thursday Before Christmas

19th December 2019


Lichterschwimmen Zurich


Don’t miss the very pretty and quaint tradition of “Lichterschwimmen” on the river Limmat in Zurich. It usually takes place on the Thursday before Christmas every year at 6pm. Hundreds of little candles are lit and released onto the river Limmat close to the Hotel Storchen on Weinplatz near Stadhausquai. The candles float gently downstream as the onlookers watch this pretty little tradition.

Children float the lights gently on the water and since it gets quite crowded it’s advisable to get there around 5pm so you have time to grab a Glühwein or punch to keep yourself warm as you watch. Zurich Tourist office have a little stand serving refreshments at Weinplatz right next to the Storchen. Don’t forget to wrap up warmly and enjoy the spectacle as the little lights sail by. The lights start setting sail promptly at 6pm.

The tradition began back in 1962, when Hansruedi Obi, a teacher from a school in Zurich, helped his pupils celebrate “Schulsylvester” by making small boats with candles inside, which they launched from the Stadthausquai at 7am on the morning of Schulsylvester.  This tradition was taken over in 1991, by primary school teacher Jürg Inhelder and this has now become an annual Advent fixture on the Thursday before Christmas. Why not help celebrate this joyous event and join the crowds watching this beautiful spectacle.

This year the date of the Lichterschwimmen is 19th December 2019.

Click this link to check out a video from the Tages Anzeiger to get an idea of what goes on.

Lichterschwimmen in Zurich

Video courtesy of Tages Anzeiger via Youtube


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  1. Thank you very much I almost forgot it, let’s hope to have no snow storm like today 😀

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