Due to the truth that the country would be the meeting point of three distinct cultures, traditions to become observed during Christmas in Switzerland is often completely distinct from canton to canton, but all share distinct similarities.
Even though Father Christmas (or Santa Claus) is developing in recognition across the Christian planet, Switzerland maintains many of the old traditions of its French, Italian, and German-speaking regions, even though also getting a few special traditions of its own. Inside the cantons nearer to German and Austrian borders, gifts are given by St Nicholas (“Samichlaus”) with his dark, cane-wielding assistant “Schmutzli”. Christmas in Switzerland’s French and Italian-speaking cantons sees a much much more benign gift-giver within the kind of “Chauche-vieille” and “Befana” respectively. Both are women and only give negative children coal or sugar lumps disguised as such, not corporal punishment.
These characters, nevertheless, are only for ancillary presents given either on the Feast Day of St Nicholas or Epiphany, ahead of or soon after December 25. Christmas in Switzerland sees the delivery of presents by “The Child Jesus” – Christkind (German), Le petit Jsus (French), or Gesu Bambino (Italian). The angelic figure can also be believed to be a representation from the angel in charge in the guiding star of Bethlehem. Some elements of your conventional image of Father Christmas do pass over in to the “Child Jesus”, with the angel’s preferred mode of transport being a reindeer-drawn sleigh.
The actual delivery technique of presents seems to differ depending on the canton, with some seeing Christkind going from house-to-house, accompanied by the tinkling of bells, to offer out gifts. Alternatively wrapped presents are typically set out on Christmas Eve, when the tree is finally place out and decorated.
The day of exchanging presents is also Christmas Eve, as an alternative to Christmas Day in Americanised traditions. This can be normally followed by a take a look at towards the neighborhood church for midnight mass, followed from the household gathering to enjoy giant doughnuts (“ringli”) and hot chocolate.
Christmas in Switzerland‘s French and Italian-speaking cantons sees a a lot much more benign gift-giver within the form of “Chauche-vieille” and “Befana” respectively. Each are women and only give bad children coal or sugar lumps disguised as such, not corporal punishment.