Scenic train ride in Switzerland among beautiful mountains and image of the Swiss flag (flag, train)

What's Up, World? Switzerland

Learn about life in this country in Europe. 

Each September, a colorful celebration takes place in Switzerland. On a day called Alpabzug [ahlp-ab-ZOOG], the Swiss have a cow parade! People balance flowers on cows’ heads and hang giant bells around their necks. 

Prisma by Dukas Presseagentur GmbH/Alamy Stock Photo

Party time!

Many Swiss cows spend summers high up in the Alps. These mountains cover much of the country. The grass, flowers, and herbs cows eat there give their milk a special taste. Farmers turn that milk into cheese, including Swiss cheese. That’s the kind with holes in it. 

In the fall, the weather gets colder. Farmers lead the cows down the steep mountains to warmer temperatures.

As they travel, the Swiss proudly parade the cows through local villages. During the parade, people might sing a kind of song called a yodel. They might also play long horns called alpenhorns. 

Switzerland is known for more than just parades, of course. For instance, it has more than 1,500 lakes. And it’s well-known for being neutral. In fact, it hasn’t been in a war since 1815. Keep reading to discover more!

Look At This

Trains are a popular way to travel around the Swiss Alps. One route takes trains through the world’s longest railway tunnel. It’s 35 miles long!


August 1 is National Day in Switzerland. Every year, the Swiss people honor their country with fireworks and music. Some play alpenhorns. 

Denis Linine/Getty Images

Fun and Games

Schwingen [SHWIN-in] is a Swiss sport similar to wrestling. Players wear special shorts with handles and wrestle on top of soft sawdust. 

Alistair Scott/Alamy Stock Photo

Let's Eat!

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate. One favorite snack there is a candy bar placed between two buns. It’s like a chocolate sandwich!

Joana Kruse/Alamy Stock Photo 

1. Why do Swiss farmers lead cows down the mountainsides in the fall?

2. Why does the article say that Switzerland is landlocked?

3. Based on the article, photos, and captions, what might people do on a visit to Switzerland?

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