Charity Calendar – December 6, 2020

  • 06 December 2020
  • Barbora Košecová
Charity Calendar – December 6, 2020

On December 6, Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated in many countries and in each one a little differently. Also Switzerland has its’ own version named “Chlouser” and our colleague Stephanie from CCC Biel told us more about it.

On this day, “Samichlous” (Swiss name for Saint Nicholas) visits children and reads something about everyone from his magical book. As Stephanie recalls: “I was always amazed how could he know all that about me!”  Before he leaves, he always shakes his huge jute sack and children are left with a pile of nuts, mandarins and sweets.

But Samichlous doesn’t appear alone, he comes with a spooky companion called “Schmutzli”. He wears a long black robe, has a blacked out face and usually carries a broom of twigs for “punishing” the children whose behaviour throughout the year has not been up to scratch. Some even say Schmutzli used to stuff naughty children into the sac and then carry them away. Stephanie confirms that: “When we heard Samichlous and Schmutzli on the Chlouser evening, we always crawled under the bed because our mother used to tell us how he once put her in the sack as a girl.” Over the years though, Schmutzli has evolved into a rather friendly figure and often helps Samichlaus to distribute treats.

Stephanie adds: “Anyhow, we have always been looking forward a lot to this evening. Because for dinner, there were always homemade “Grittibänze” (sweet dough figures) and the kids were allowed to help to create them. There was also cheese, hot chocolate, nuts, etc.” We can just say that we totally understand the joyful anticipation! 🙂