Happy “Samichlaus Day”

For anybody who might not have understood the title, it’s ok, it’s Swiss German and chances that you are fluent in that language is based on world population rather slim.

Today is the December 6, which means where I come from, it’s St. Nikolaus Day and Father Christmas will be making his rounds, ringing at the doorbells of eager children, half excited half scared because of course together with St. Nikolaus, his helper “Schmutzli” (dressed in brown instead of red) is always ready to pack the poorly behaved kids into his big bag and drag them back into the woods. If you are only halfway bad, you might be lucky and will only get slapped with the “Fitze”, a bunch of tied together twigs.  Oh, I almost forgot, of course there are some well behaved kids that get goodies (chocolate, nuts and oranges – in that order-) from the Samichlaus.

Any kid can get out of any looming punishment for the ‘sins’ that were committed throughout the year by ensuring Santa Claus that they will be behaving much better going foward and by either singing him a lovely song or reciting a Xmas nursery rhyme.

I miss the Samichlaus, and this year even in Switzerland December 6 won’t feel the same. Snow is nowhere to be seen and without the snow, how will the children know which parts of the woods the Samichlaus will be comming from, if they can’t see his, Schmutzli’s and the donkey’s foot prints in it?

Either way, I assume the treats will be flowing readily. Happy Samichlaus Day everyone!


~ by spasmicallyperfect on December 6, 2006.

One Response to “Happy “Samichlaus Day””

  1. i love hearing and reading about different Christmas traditions and myths. it’s so interesting that there are many similarities but also the differences. don’t think i’d like being smacked with the twigs though. i suppose i’ll be good if ever i go to switzerland during Christmas.
    As I told my Canadian friends about this, they all started to freak out about the ‘cruel’ idea behind the whole thing. Of course other then the myth, reality is nothing like that, nobody gets hit or taken away. Guess it used to be a way to keep kids under control and behaved in the times where taking out belts for punishment was the norm. Today you can buy the twigs at the grocery store and bakeries and they are all loaded with yummy chocolates. And yes, the Swiss love behaved people 🙂 .

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