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St. Nicholas processions

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December 6 is St. Nicholas' Day (Samichlaus or Samiglais in German-speaking Switzerland). For many children and families, the visit by Santa Claus is a key event in Adventtide, the run-up to Christmas.

Santa Claus wears a red coat and hood and sports a long white beard. He's accompanied by a sidekick called the Schmutzli, wearing dark clothes. They both arrive on the evening of 6 December, visiting children at home and in kindergartens to distribute walnuts, tangerines, gingerbread and other treats which they keep in a sack. The children practise special Santa Claus sayings for this day, which they then recite and are rewarded with the contents of the sack. The Schmutzli also carries a rod to punish any naughty children, but this is almost never used.

In the past, children were threatened with being taken to the forest in Santa Claus's sack if they were disobedient. Today, however, he's regarded as a nice old man who brings gifts.

Dates of the processions

Flüeli-Ranft

Friday, 22 November 2024

Route: multi-purpose hall – Flüeliplatz – multi-purpose hall

Kerns

Saturday, 23 November 2024 at 8 p.m.

Route: school – Dorfplatz – church – school

Giswil

Friday, 29 November 2024 at 7.30 p.m.

Route: restaurant träumli – school

Kägiswil

Saturday, 30 November 2024 at 7 p.m.

Route: Schulhausstrasse – village – Gemeindehaus

Alpnach/Schoried

Sunday, 1st December 2024 at 7 p.m.

Route: Schoried – roundabout coop - garage schlieren– school

Alpnachstad

Friday, 1st December 20234 at 7.30 p.m.

Route:  Pilatusbahn - Chälengasse - Brünigstrasse - Pilatusbahn

Sachseln

Friday, 29 November 2024 at 7 p.m.

Route: Bahnhofplatz – Pilatusstrasse – Dorfplatz – Dorfstrasse

Sarnen

Wednesday, 6 December 2024 at 7.30 p.m.

Route: school– Hotel Krone – Lindenstrasse – station – Dorfplatz

Lungern

Sunday, 8 December 2024 at 1.30 p.m.

Route: old church tower – church

Melchtal

Friday, 1st December 2023 at 7.30 p.m.

Route: sawmill- widderhuis