De-stress your way to Christmas

2020 has been challenging, to put it mildly, so SWI would like to help you relax in the run-up to Christmas with four fun stops along the way. Sit back and click through some oddities and festive stories from our archives. 

This content was published on December 6, 2020 - 10:00

December 6 is Samichlaus (Santa Claus) Day in Switzerland. Back in 2007 we managed to get a rare exclusive interview with the man himself. He had a lot to say and was surprisingly well informed on current affairs. “Swiss gun laws are pushing my life insurance through the roof,” he complained.

“So I said to the wife, ‘Thank goodness for elf insurance’…” © Keystone / Eq Images / Monika Flueckiger

In the previous De-stress package we told you how dressing up as Santa is serious business, requiring plenty of training. But if being Santa Claus isn’t your thing, you can always spend the last two months of the year cracking a whip to get the attention of St Nicholas.

People of all ages and whipping ability in the northern Swiss town of Lenzburg head out at sunset for the traditional “Chlausklöpfe”. Learn how you can make this traditional whip in our report from 2011. And if St Nicholas doesn’t turn up, just keep practising!

From a cultural icon familiar to many to traditional Swiss myths known by only a few. Il Crestomat is an online comic written in Romansh that features ogres, witches who cut off children’s feet and a talking cow’s stomach covered in dozens of eyes.

While this might like sound like nightmare fuel, the aim of the project, which was launched in 2015 and now runs to 24 issues, is to pass traditional myths on to a new generation and promote interest in Switzerland’s least-spoken national language, understood by only around 60,000 people.

We spoke to the comic’s creators and in this podcast you can get a taste of Romansh – and enjoy “Frajas Giardin”, a Romansh cover of one of the most famous pop songs of all time.

We hope you’ve had a relaxing Samichlaus Day. We'll be back with a fresh load from the archives next Sunday.

"Nothing will stop me from delivering!" Patrick Frischknecht Nature Photography

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