Samichlaus and the Schmutzli


Even if 2015 is already archived and overtaken by its younger colleague 2016, I still have some posts about last year…Please forgive me for my slight delay.

One of the most typical “events” in Switzerland during the period before Christmas!
The arrival of Samichlaus (Swiss German for Nikolaus) with his two faithful Schmutzli (“dirties”), to celebrate St. Nikolaus on the 6th December.

Almost every small village, city or part of organised civilisation in Switzerland has its own “Samichlaus with Schmutzli” event.

The origins of this celebration are not so clear and are to be found many many centuries ago.
Basically, on the 6th December, Samichlaus, dressed more like a bishop than a Santa Claus, arrives with a big sack full of small sweets, chocolates, mandarins and peanuts for the joy of all children. He is always accompanied by two “Schmutzli”, characters wearing brown tunics and having faces covered with black dirty spots.
So this year, organised by the kindergarten, we were in the wood, in the evening, with the kids, with some fires to be able to see something and suddenly Samichlaus and its crew arrived and distributed his “sweet” presents in small bags to each kid.

It was really a delightful event…
…apart from the quite boring (and sometimes seeming endless in the coldness of the evening) speech delivered by Samichlaus before handing over his presents!

Of course: the speech was entirely delivered in the most possible strict Swiss German dialect!

2 thoughts on “Samichlaus and the Schmutzli

  1. Right you are, to enjoy these old folk customs, until it’s possible.
    By now, in the next years Europe will be invaded by millions and millions of immigrants
    and the actual Nations will break. The Borders will get mixed and the People will loose
    their characteristics, their origins.
    Our traditions (civil and religious) and our habits will be wiped out by plenty of people,
    poor, needy,and hungry whom no limit , no law, no goverment will be capable to manage,
    to coordinate or to refuse.


    • Every immigrant (as I do…remember: Real Swiss – A “Foreigner” In Switzerland) going to whatever foreign country shall always keep in mind and behave as the famous proverb teaches:
      When in Rome, do as the Romans do!


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