Throughout history, diverse cultures and beliefs have intertwined to shape the traditions of Christmas in Switzerland. Held sacred, each tradition has been preserved and passed down so that Christmas is celebrated the same today as it was centuries ago.
Because Switzerland is made up of German, French and Italian areas, there are different traditions and beliefs. However, there are also traditions shared among the ethnic cultures, as well.
Advent traditionally starts on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve. Children make Advent calendars with 24 flaps that open up to windows displaying a Christmas scene. An Advent wreath is also made and carries four candles representing each Sunday in advent.
A tree is put up on Christmas Eve and is decorated by the entire family. The decorations do not differ from American trees, with the exception of the Swiss adding candles.
In the German speaking areas it is believed that St. Nicholas is the one who delivers the presents. They also celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 6, when children's shoes are filled with mandarin oranges, nuts and cookies.
Le Petit Jesus
In the Catholic region, it is believed "Christkind," or, "Le Petit Jesus," is the bearer of the gifts.
Christmas Eve is a time when families gather for a feast and read passages that pertain to the birth of Jesus. Most families attend midnight mass and gather afterward for hot chocolate and homemade doughnuts, called "ringli."
- Swiss traditions
- Christmas in Switzerland
Christmas, Christmas in Switzerland, Swiss traditions
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