Santa traditions in Switzerland
December 7, 2018 — No comments
Visit Santa at his forest hut
At the beginning of December, Santa and his helper Schmutzli move into a small cottage by the forest pond near the city of Zürich. From here they visit children at their home, which is a continuing tradition in Switzerland where parents call Samichlaus ahead of time.
Santa can also be visited at his cozy cottage. For a few days around December 6 – the official Santa Claus day in Switzerland – children can visit Santa in the living room of his forest cottage, where Samichlaus tells them stories from his life and listens to their verses.
Meanwhile, Schmutzli, Santa’s companion, looks after Santa’s donkey outside and makes a fire where the children can roast their brought-along delicacies after the visit.
Santa by phone and on WhatsApp
Many children throughout Switzerland wish for a personal visit of Santa and his companion Schmutzli at their home. The St. Nikolaus Gesellschaft in Zürich tries to do justice to all of the requests in Zürich, but due to the number of requests unfortunately has to disappoint some children. For this reason, the Santa phone was initiated many years ago.
“Da isch dä Samichlaus” (“Here is Santa speaking”) is what the children hear when they call the number to speak with Santa.
The phone is staffed with specially trained Santas who also have long experience in the field. This is a free service to any child who wishes to speak with Santa, having had a visit or not. The request to refrain from “joke” calls to the widely published number to keep the lines open for the children is honoured quite well by the general public.
Old fashioned letters to Santa
16,000 letters yearly are delivered to Santa via the official Swiss Postal Service. From within Switzerland, and from around the world.
As long as the children include a return-address, each letter will be answered by a specialty team hired for the purpose by the Post. Some letters don’t have a return address, and then the team moves heaven and earth to find «Sébastien, 5» or «Anna Lena, Trueb» via the postal stamp and other clues, so that only about 400 letters remain unanswered.
Letters are answered in all of Switzerland’s four languages plus English! 75% of all letters are sent in by children from the French and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland – an interesting piece of information.
And what does Santa answer in his letter? It could be a Christmas story along with some coloring pencils or a small game, and occasionally, Santa fulfills an even greater wish. Letters need no postage, but a lovely hand-colored stamp is most definitely noted by Santa!
Santa Books & the ‘Giving Hand’
The Santa Claus Society of the city of Zürich provides many free events/services & brings gifts not just in December but throughout the year to people in need, seniors, the infirm and physically or mentally challenged.
Santa visits are an enduringly popular pre-Christmas event in Switzerland. The benevolent care and sincere interest of Santa in each child speaks about the beauty & benefit of this endearing tradition in Switzerland.
Do you know of any endearing Santa traditions? Please share them and leave a comment below!
Leave a Comment BelowYour email address will never be shared. Your comments make my day. Thank you!
More from Swiss Wanderlust
Very unique Easter tradition in Ferden/VS
Swiss Easter traditions - old & new
Pegasus Zürich where Easter bunnies & Santas rendez-vous
Sent, Ftan, Guarda & Schellen-Ursli
Of tree stands & Christmas mice
Santa traditions in Switzerland
Swiss Christmas traditions
Start your backyard composting this fall
Wild mushroom foraging in the Pacific Northwest
Quality olive oil - a Croatian grower's tips
Experience Croatia with Silvia
Vitra Design Campus: fun, funky, functional furniture
Berger bell foundry Bärau
Brunni-Bahnen Engelberg - unbound nature experience
Water Castle Hallwyl: opera under the stars
World's largest Swiss flag
Swiss Armed Forces at 4 Day March, Nijmegen/NL
Amsterdam unique sightseeing tips
Cheeses of Switzerland
Im Gummiboot durch die Schweiz
«Geschichten & Gekochtes» – 60 Jahre Gastronomie-Erlebnisse
Alois Carigiet - art, graphic design & Schellen-Ursli
Waldhaus Sils - superb five star hotel
Mili Weber Museum St. Moritz
Fifties family hike in Switzerland
Schweizer Schule Alexandrien, Ägypten
Four highly recommended Swiss films
SWISSWOOD Alphorns & Engel-Chörli Appenzell
Kloster Kappel, Kappel am Albis
Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen: Vertraute Stimme aus der Heimat
Roger Federer, social entrepreneur in high profile tennis
Light of Peace
Swiss National Soup Day and other amazing community stories
St. Nicholas arrival - Samichlaus Auszug
Emmental Christmas market
Zürich Gourmet Trams
Grittibänz & Christmas cookies
Zürich Public Transportation - Holiday Dinners, Sightseeing, Books
Die Pracht der Tracht - Swiss Traditional Costumes
Basel Tattoo - the world's second largest
Brächete and autumn market in Zäziwil
Onsernone Valley - wild, evocative and fascinating
Helsinki-Shanghai: 9,700 kilometers or 150 hours by train
Ronco: Porto-Ronco/Ronco sopra Ascona
Risotto Festival Locarno
Einfach leben - Pianta Monda
SJAS childrens' camps in Switzerland
Paradiesli vacation chalet owned by an exceptional jodeler
Geographical center of Switzerland - Älggi Alp
Schweizer Regiokrimis sind Bestsellers
Aecherli Pass: Sennen hospitality & wild haying
Historic motorcycle race Seebodenalp, Switzerland
Restaurant zum Kropf - hearty Zürich cuisine in 16th century ambiance
Hotel Adler in Old Town Zürich: quaint Swissness
Swiss National Day August 1, in- & outside Switzerland
Dettling Kirsch - the world's finest cherry brandy
Mehl und Brot, Macht und Geld im alten Zürich
Zürich to Milan via the new Gotthard Base Tunnel
Fretz Men: top quality Swiss-made footwear
Oeschinen Lake - UNESCO World Cultural Heritage region
Swiss Annina Altherr - Yukon Government Youth Climate Change Ambassador
Bauer Fritz - Idyllic farm B&B near Luzern
Zürich wine region: vineyards, white asparagus and wilderness
Appenzell Landsgemeinde - Open-air Parliament in Appenzell
Sechseläuten in Zürich
European Girls' Mathematical Olympiad EGMO
Palmsonntag mit zwei Eseln
Glacier Express - legendary rail journey in total comfort
Hotel Alpenblick Berne where guests return as friends
Urbärn a cappella quartet sings gorgeous Swiss folk songs
Graubündel - the hip new Swiss pic-nic bag!
Zürich Zoo: Transition to Nature Conservation Center
Restaurant blindekuh: dining in pitch-black darkness
Rudy Canonica: Swiss shepherd in the Bernese highlands
Gret Zellweger - Appenzell Multi-Talent Folk Artist
Koller International Auctions Zürich and Geneva
TOPtoTOP climate change expedition
Alaska dog sledding with an Appenzell-Swiss
100th birthday of Ruedi Walter, Swiss radio/TV and film star
Swiss Armed Forces Culinary Team wins cooking competitions
Mummenschanz - the legendary Swiss mime company on tour again
Meinrad's Puppen & Bärenklinik (Doll & Teddybear Clinic)
Conelli's enchanting Christmas Circus
Zürich Chamber Orchestra ZKO
Luzern Hotels: Montana Art Deco Hotel
Luzern B&Bs: Idyllic Baroque house for two
Züri Tirggel - a traditional Swiss Christmas cookie
Migros bus - when grocery stores had wheels
Zürich Cafés: Felix at the Bellevue
Zürich B&Bs: Scandinavian cabins
Zürich Hotels: Hotel Waldhaus Dolder
Rasa, Ticino: Jewel of a village on the mountaintop
Vent Negru: traditional folk music from the Ticino (sound samples)
A drive around Lake Geneva, by guest writer Sandra Grote