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The Local Switzerland launches Membership: Don’t miss out on limited offer

On Tuesday we launched Membership for The Local Switzerland. We are now asking readers to pay a small contribution to get full access to the latest news and essential features. Here's what being a Member will get you and how you can still take advantage of a limited discount offer to join.

The Local Switzerland launches Membership: Don't miss out on limited offer

What's happening?

On Tuesday March 5th The Local Switzerland followed in the footsteps of our sister sites around Europe by asking regular readers to become paying Members.

What does that mean?

It means that we are now asking readers to pay a small contribution either each month or annually to become a member.

What does that get me?

In short membership gets you this:

  • Access to an unlimited number of articles on the site
  • Exclusive features just for members on all kinds of subjects to help explain Switzerland and life in the country
  • Improved coverage – with a freelance budget we aim to improve our coverage and get more voices on the site
  • As a member you'll be able to comment on all articles from now on
  • Fewer adverts – as a member you'll see less advertising on our articles
  • Unlimited access to all our other news sites around Europe
  • Special newsletters just for members

READ ENOUGH? Join now for special discount price

What else will my money go towards?

Our primary aim is to continue to grow in an increasingly tough media landscape and your contribution will help us not have to rely on advertising revenue in future. That will help us improve what we write about and will make us more accountable to readers rather than advertisers.

As members, we will be asking for your views and seeking your contributions on a regular basis. In short, we want you to get involved.

How much does it cost?

From today, you can join The Local Switzerland by taking advantage of our “Early Bird” offer before it runs out.

The offer, which gives you 30 percent off the price of annual membership, means loyal readers have the chance to join at a cheaper rate before we introduce the paywall on Tuesday March 5th. The special offer is time limited.

With the offer, if you are in Switzerland you can sign up today for CHF34.99, rather than the normal annual price of CHF49.99.

If you are are outside Switzerland you can pay €34.99 for the first year of annual Membership instead of €49.99. Please note, if you are in the US or the UK the money will be paid in your local currency.

You can also join and pay a monthly rate and effectively get the first month free.

If you've read enough you can join now by CLICKING HERE to view the options.

Your support is much appreciated.

Please explain why you are introducing a paywall again?

If you want to know about why are taking this step then you can read this article. An important factor is that advertising alone is no longer enough to survive in the ruthless modern media industry.

We are working in an environment in which big global companies like Facebook and Google have snapped up a huge proportion of global advertising. We highly value the relationships we have with our advertisers, but like most other media we also need other, more stable forms of income.
 
The reality is that a click or a unique visitor doesn't on its own pay the bills, especially when so many people use ad blockers.
 
If we want to continue to grow, as we have done since The Local Switzerland was launched in 2011, and offer more to readers, then we need to ask them to contribute directly.
 
But our Membership scheme is not just about having to balance the books amid stiff competition for ad revenues.
 
We want to be in a position to offer more insight into this wonderful country and to cover the news our readers need in more detail. We want to explain how the country works and give people the advice they need to navigate their life in Switzerland. 
 
And we'll be redoubling our efforts to speak up for the international residents of Switzerland when they need our help.
 
Membership is also motivated by our desire for our readers to become more involved in what we do and how we do it. We want to tell your stories and write about your experiences living in the country. In other words, don't think of your monthly or yearly payment as a fee, but as an investment.
 
We look forward to having you on board. 
 
If you have any questions, please feel free to email our team at [email protected].
 
Thank you for reading.
 
George Mills
 
Editor, The Local Switzerland

 
 

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TRAVEL

EXPLAINED: What and where are Germany’s public holidays in 2021?

Here's what you need to know about state and national public holidays this year.

EXPLAINED: What and where are Germany's public holidays in 2021?
Fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate for the New Year on January 1st, 2018. Photo: DPA

Unfortunately 2021 is not looking like the best year for public holidays in Germany. Unlike countries such as the UK or US, workers don’t receive a day off if a public holiday falls on a weekend (and they work a Monday through Friday schedule).

German Reunification Day on October 3rd falls on a Saturday, and both Christmas and the day after fall on a Saturday and Sunday. Several other regional holidays occur on a Sunday. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany ensure that workers get a day off for every public holiday?

That said, there is still a generous helping of holidays in Germany, particularly for some southern states. Other Bundesländer have their own public holidays, whether International Women’s Day in Berlin or World Children Day in Thuringia, both of which have only been a work-free day since 2019.

We look at all public holidays around the Bundesrepublik, where they’re celebrated, and what they’re all about.

Here are the national holidays first:

New Year’s Day: Friday January 1st

Good Friday: Friday April 2nd

The Friday before Easter is a countrywide public holiday, in which Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. Some states take its religious significance more seriously than others, such as in 12 out of the 16 states where it's 'illegal' to dance on the day.

Yet some (here's looking at you, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) particularly enforce the ban.

Easter Monday: Monday April 5th

Labour Day: Saturday May 1st

The holiday in honour of workers dates back over 130 years and is celebrated around the country with a range of festivals involving everything from dancing around poles to chasing away evil spirits. 

In Berlin, one of the largest – and typically rowdiest – marches campaigning for workers' rights nationwide typically occurs on May 1st in the Kreuzberg district. 

Photo: DPA

Christi Himmelfahrt/Father’s Day: Thursday May 13th

In its most pure form, this day is about commemorating Jesus' event into heaven. Yet the public holiday, which also marks Germany's Father's Day, is an epic excuse for many to delve into day-drinking debauchery rather than pious reverence.

Whit Monday: Monday May 24th

This religious holiday marks the Holy Spirit's descent on Jesus' followers. But whether you're religious or not, it's always a nationwide public holiday in Germany.

Day of German Unity: Sunday October 3rd

This monumental day commemorates the reunification of former East and West Germany in 1990, following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Christmas Day: Saturday, December 25th

Day after Christmas: Sunday December 26th

Not all western countries (the US for example) have December 26th as a day off work. But in Germany it remains a public holiday for all workers. However, as it falls on a Sunday there will be no day off during the week in 2021.

Now let’s take a look at other state specific holidays, and where they’re celebrated.

Heilige Drei Könige/Three Kings Day: Wednesday January 6th (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Saxony-Anhalt)

For countries such as Spain, this day is celebrated as a public holiday nationwide. It commemorates the arrival of the magi in Bethlehem to present their gifts to the baby Jesus.

READ ALSO: What you should know about Three Kings Day in Germany

While Germans don't usually exchange gifts on the day as is done elsewhere, there's a delicious Kings Cake (Königskuchen) featuring currants, candied lemon peel and raisins.

International Women’s Day: Monday March 8th (Berlin)

For the third year in a row, Berliners are celebrating their own public holiday. For most, it’s only the second time around since it fell on a Sunday in 2020.

READ ALSO: What you should know about Frauentag, Berlin's newest public holiday

Fronleichnam: Thursday June 3rd (Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Hessen)

This holiday is known in English as Corpus Christi, or the Feast of the Body of Christ. While it's an official public holiday in six German states, it's celebrated in Roman Catholic communities around the country.

Maria Himmelfahrt: Sunday August 15th (Bavaria and Saarland)

World Children's Day: Monday September 20th (Thuringia) 

Berlin also celebrated Weltkindertag, even if not as a public holiday, in 2020 by this work of street art with the number of children in Germany. Photo: DPA

The eastern state has only celebrated the day as a public holiday since 2019, following Berlin’s example of declaring a public holiday in honour of a specific group. Children are the future, a state description of the holiday reads, and as such extra time should be devoted to improving their well-being. 

Reformation Day: Sunday October 31st (Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Lower Saxony, Bremen, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein)

This day marks the anniversary of religious reformation in Europe, commemorating when Martin Luther nailed his 95 proposals on to the door of a church in 1517. Only in 2017, on the 500th anniversary, was it a public holiday for all of Germany.

Allerheiligen/All Saint’s Day: Monday November 1st (Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland and Bavaria)

Catholics, and some Protestants, honour this day by visiting the graves of deceased relatives. While it's recognized in five states as a public holiday, some states have declared it a stiller Tag, in which certain activities like dancing in public are restricted.

Buß- und Bettag: Wednesday November 17th (Saxony)

The “Buß- and Bettag” (day of penance and prayer) always takes place on the Wednesday before the Ewigkeitssonntag (Eternity Sunday), also called Totensonntag (the Sunday before Advent on which the dead are commemorated).

READ ALSO: Saxony public holiday: What is the history behind Buß- und Bettag?
 

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