Thursday 6 December 2012

Samichlaus and Schmutzli, St. Nicholas and Questions

Schmutzli and Samichlaus

In Switzerland on the 6th December "Samichlaus and Schmutzli" pay the children a visit.

"Samichlaus" is a good figure, wears red, and talks to the children about all the good things they have done throughout the year, offering the children nuts, chocolates and clementines. 
The children usually have to say a verse to him before they receive anything though.

The bread figure in the picture below is a "Grittibaenz" and is also associated with today.

"Schmutzli" on the other hand, is Samichlaus's alter-ego, dressed in black, with black beard and hair, he offers the "naughty" children nothing besides a shaking of his birch rod which he carries with him.

Hubby doesn't really have fond memories of his "Samichlaus" Visit as he recalls being put into Schmutzlis sack as a small child and being carried off. (He was pretty naughty!) 
He said from then on on the 6th of December he would hide, under the table, under the bed, where-ever he would fit, because he knew who was probably coming to visit him :)

This tradition dates back to around the 11th century where St. Nicholas of Myra was known to have spread kindness and gifts to the children, isn't Europe so wonderfully full of these rich traditions.

Regula @ Babajezas Wundertuete asked some questions in the tradition of today and so I will answer them.

1. Can you knit and who taught you? 
Yes, I can knit, my mother taught me.
2. Did you have a hand craft teacher and what was her/his name? 
I did, I didn't like her very much, Mrs. Lithgow
3. Where would you go for a vacation if the world was open to you? 
I would like to visit Maldives
4. What was the most dangerous adventure you’ve ever experienced? 
Well, it wasn't really and adventure, but it sure felt like one afterwards. 
I was travelling by myself in South Africa, relying completely on my GPS Navigation to get me where I wanted to go. 
Of course the GPS had worked out the quickest route to my destination and took me through a very dodgy part of town. 
I was alone and a little concerned to say the least. I put my foot down on the pedal and raced out of there!
5. What would you like to do (really important)  in next five years? 
I would like to work for myself and enjoy the time with my children before they leave home.
6. Will you have a Christmas tree and what colour are the balls?
I don't really want a tree as our home is very small, but my children desperately want to have a "Real" tree again (In Africa we only had the fake ones), so I guess we will have one. The idea, will show you a picture when it is done :)

Do you want to take part in the questions and answers of today?
Here are my questions for you, answer them and write your link to your post in a comment below.

1. Is the festive season a Tradition-Rich celebration in your country?
2. If so, how do you celebrate it?
3. What is at the top of your Bucket-list if you have/had one?
4. What is your next holiday destination?
5. How many pets do you have?


  1. It is like Sinterklaas in Holland! I think it is the same tradition.

  2. Oops, i am not done yet.... I like the Q & A. Nice idea!

    1. Hi Elisabeth,
      Who visited you the most? Samichlaus or Schmutzli ;)
      Thanks for visiting, don't eat too many sweeties.


    That Schmutzli character must be good motivation for children to behave! I wish we had that here in the US!

    Thanks for posting such fun Q&A!!

    1. Hi Ali,
      Thank you so much for answering the questions, such a fun read :)
      Have a super weekend.

  4. Interesting Christmas traditions in Switzerland. It's hard for kids to be good before Christmas. :-)

    1. This is the most traditional time for all in Switzerland and there is a lot going on, I will try and post about all of our local traditions as they come along.
      Thanks for visiting.


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