Advent – St. Nicholas’ Day

“Sami, Nicki, Näcki; Hinterm Ofe steck i; Gimmer Nuss und Birre; Dänn chumi widr füre…”

That’s one of the most popular little verses that young Swiss-German children learn to recite to Santa Claus – St. Nicholas – when he comes knocking on the 6th December! It’s a tradition that a lot of families still keep up and it leaves a great impression on the kids when the big red-clad Santa and his assistant Schmutzli, in a plain dark brown hooded habit, come to the house and read of their misdemeanors from a big, heavy book… The reward is a bag of nuts and chocolates and mandarine oranges and although our Santas don’t say “HoHoHo”, they still have a deep and friendly chuckle 🙂

IMG_2172In Switzerland, some parts of Germany and Holland, a lot of boots and shoes will be left out in the hope of being filled with goodies, maybe the origin of the Christmas stocking, which we don’t have at Christmas itself.

We no longer have young children at home, but even our 18 year old seems to have been pleased to get a “Chlaussack” bag of nuts and sweets and my husband’s chocolate Santa disappeared rapidly, so I think it’s a tradition that we’ll be keeping up for a while, yet! IMG_2264Seasonal consumables is fine by me 🙂 IMG_2263

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4 thoughts on “Advent – St. Nicholas’ Day

  1. I remember when Ruedi took me and Alexandra (11 months) to our first “santa” event. I was expecting huge floats and marching bands..still in the north american frame of mind. Then this santa and a few donkeys came along, handed stuff to Allie and that was it. We did keep up with the tradition of going to watch each year until we moved.

  2. Yes, I suppose it is pretty low-key in comparison! We saw the “Chlausumzug” in Zurich this year, just a few floats, most pulled by troops of kids about 8 yrs old dressed as elves, so cute, with a few angels sitting on the float playing descant recorder and a few Santas and donkeys wandering along with them – Bahnhofstrasse, but not exactly crowds of people, but it was really pretty and nice for the kids!!
    At the Bürkliplatz, the Schmutzlis all went off to a bandstand to play dixie music LOL

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