On 1st August 1291, the «Old Confederation» was established by the municipalities Uri, Schwyz and Unterwalden as a loose alliance of valley municipalities. Other municipalities and regions subsequently joined.
The founding of modern Switzerland dates back to 1848, at which time the majority of the cantons created a modern Federal state by adopting a Federal constitution (basic law of the State). Amongst other things this governed centralisation and standardisation of certain areas, such as the military, Customs, or postage and coinage, but the autonomy of the cantons was also enshrined in the Constitution.
1 August. Tradition has it that on this day the original three cantons are supposed to have sworn to the Federal Charter in Rütli Meadow, by Lake Lucerne. Many places in Switzerland celebrate the national holiday with festive processions, public addresses and fireworks.