Switzerland officially the Swiss Confederation is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is bordered by Germany to the north, France to the west, Italy to the south, and Austria and Liechtenstein to the east.
The Capital of this country is Bern and the largest city Zurich.
Christmas Celebrations in Switzerland :
The customs in Switzerland’s four different linguistic regions tend to resemble those of their immediate neighbors, Germany and Austria for the German-speaking part, France for the French-speaking cantons and Italy for the canton of Ticino and southern valleys of the Grisons. There is an interesting difference in comparison with American customs: Santa Claus plays a much smaller part at Christmas.
The celebration of Christmas begins with the “pursuit of Saint Nicholas” — Klausjagen in Switzerland. The Chlausjagen Festival or Feast of St. Nichohlas is celebrated at dusk on 6 December with a procession of “lifeltrager’ wearing gigantic illuminated lanterns in the shape of a Bishop’s mitre on their heads. On December 5th in the village of Kussnacht near Lake Lucerne, 200 or so marchers carry huge bishops’ hats of about six feet tall and decorated to look like lace patterns with a is a lighted candle. Originally worn by men, today both men and women wear the hats and participate in the parade, escorting Saint Nicholas the town. Heavy bells are carried or worn by strong men and echo through the streets. Horn blowing and brass bands add to the festivities. At the head of the parade are the whip crackers who announce, to mark the arrival of the procession. The Christmas celebration ends on December 24th.
In the village of Hallwil, die Wienectchind walks through the town wearing a white robe and carrying a lantern. Six girls wearing rose-colored dresses accompany her. They visit families, sing carols together and give cakes and cookie to children. “Merry Christmas” is wished in four different languages in Christmas celebrations in Switzerland do not differ very much from those in other western European nations and the United States. However, In the German and French-speaking parts of the country, his role is taken over by the “Christkind” or “Le petit Jésus,” the Christ child, a beautiful, radiant, angel-like being with wings, dressed in white with a shining crown and a magic wand. According to popular belief, it represents little Jesus.
A tinkling of a silver bell heralds the arrival of Christkindli – a white clad angel, with a face veil held in place by a jeweled crown. The tree candles are lit as she enters each house and hands out presents from the basket held by her child helpers. The week before Christmas, children dress up and visit homes with small gifts. Bell ringing has become a tradition, and each village competes with the next when calling people to midnight mass. After the service, families gather to share huge homemade doughnuts called ringli and hot chocolate.
How do people Wish Merry Christmas in Switzerland ?
In Switzerland people generally speak German, French, and Italian.
- Merry Christmas Wishes in German – Fröhlichi Wiehnacht!
- Merry Christmas Wishes in French – Joyeux Noel!
- Merry Christmas Wishes in Italian – Buon Natale
We wish all readers Merry Christmas 2016 & Prosperous New Year 2017 !!!