Together with the country being the corner post of three various cultures – French, German, and Italian – Christmas in Switzerland combines a number of the traditions of all 3 nations whilst also introducing some which are uniquely Swiss.
From the French, the Swiss have borrowed a surprising degree of discipline for the festive season. In France, even though Father Christmas is dishing out presents towards the good kids, he is accompanied by “the whipping father”, who offers the naughty kids a sound thrashing. In the course of Christmas in Switzerland, St Nicholas is accompanied by Schmutzli, who serves the identical function.
As with the Italian celebrations, Christmas in Switzerland is based heavily about the scene of the Nativity. This was in fact invented in Italy at the request of St Francis of Assisi and remains pretty well known in Central and Western mainland Europe. The Yule log, that is traditionally burned in Italy for the 12 days of Christmas, is also a widespread tradition for the Swiss.
Although markets are typical across most European countries in the course of the festive season, they’re particularly widespread in Germany and most regular Christmas markets constantly have a slightly German really feel to them. Because of the massive German-speaking population in the country, markets have also grow to be an significant part of Christmas in Switzerland, with several large arrays of stalls in all the important cities and even in a number of the smaller towns.
Alternatively, some Swiss traditions are one of a kind for the country. Soon after attending midnight mass, on Christmas Eve, the Swiss share hot chocolate and massive, homemade doughnuts (“ringli”), unlike the Italians who have their principal meal at this point. You will discover also ceremonies like the Klausjagen (“the chase of St Nicholas”) – a torchlit procession via the extra Catholic locations on the country – which are quite in contrast to any celebration in any other country.
Even though markets are common across most European countries during the festive season, they may be particularly common in Germany and most traditional Christmas markets always have a slightly German feel to them. As a result of the large German-speaking population in the country, markets have also become an important part of Christmas in Switzerland