Christmas in Switzerland
Travelscope heads to Lausanne, Montreux and Basel, Switzerland to bask in the glow of a Swiss-style Christmas at some of the country’s best Christmas Markets. Joseph’s adventures include a visit to a Christmas ornament artist, samplings of Swiss culinary specialties, a journey to old St. Nick’s village, counting the hours with Lausanne’s watchman and a close encounter with Father Christmas himself and his trusty companion the Schmutzli, who’s been checking his list to find out who’s been naughty or nice. A full slate of holiday fun is guaranteed for all!
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In Switzerland, the Christmas season traditionally starts on the 1st of December when the children get to open the first “window” of their “Advent Calendar”, a calendar with 24 little flaps opening onto windows with Christmas images.
On Dec 6th it’s time for the Samichlaus (Swiss Santa) and his black-clad companion Schmutzli who roam the streets listening to poems recited by wide-eyed children. After that, Samichlaus allows them to reach deep into his bag for a smattering of tangerines, nuts or gingerbread.
The evening of December 24th is when children get to see the decorated tree in its entire splendor for the first time. In the warm glow of the candle-lit tree (the Swiss much prefer candles over artificial lights) songs are being sung, the gospel is read and presents are being exchanged while all fill their bellies with countless Swiss holiday dishes.
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