Location: A true blue Aussie, living in Switzerland

Tuesday, December 11

Sami klaus

On the 6th of December is Sami Klaus day, or also know s Saint Nicholas day.
It is the Remembrance day of Sait Nicholas who died on the 6th of December in year 343.

However this is no sombre event and unlike our Santa clause who we never see, who comes on the 24th of December and comes down the chimney, Sammi Klaus in Switzerland will visit each child’s house on the 6th dressed up in his bishop gear (so a gold hat and a red cape) accompanied by Schmutzli (a man dressed all in Black), who used to threaten the children when they were not good and put them in his sack , or whip them with a broom thing made out of twigs called a rutter.

Sammi klaus will also reads from his gold book and tell the child what he has seen that the child has done well and things that the child should do to improve their behaviour. The child must then recite to Sammi Klaus a small poem or story and then Sammi klaus will present the child with a some nuts, mandarins and chocolate.

In My Village the Sammi Klauses ,yes there are about 37 Santas who split up and make sure that one of them visits each child’s house. …..are then individually chased from house to house by small boys with cow bells. Then once all of the Sammi Klauses have visited all of the children’s houses they are then all chased together by the boys with the cow bells through the village 2 times and down the main road where the festivities of whip cracking and hot wine drinking are taking place.

So once I found at that here is Switzerland Santa Clause is totally different from ours, and the celebrations are most defiantly not the same, I mentioned this to my host family. who then organized for me to go with my host Mum to the neighbours house (as they have small children who Sammi Klaus would be visiting) and have the whole Swiss Santa experience.

So I learnt my poem.....and this was not so easy as it was in Swiss German....but with help from my host brother who corrected my pronunciation I was able to say my poem off by heart, and make sound slightly ok.....well I think they could at least understand what I was trying to say.

The big day finally came and another exchange student from my school Emilia, who's host mum works with my host mum was also coming to the neighbours that evening.

So in the morning I went to school, and in the afternoon with Kay-lea I went to the Solothurn Sammi Klaus Markets. Here I saw a Santa and a Schmutzli....and even their donkey!!!!

I then met Emilia and we went to Balsthal. We then went to the Markets in Blasthal...where my host dad was working on a stall and he gave us some hot good.

it was then back home so we could meet my host Mum and go to the neighbours house.

The Neighbours were so lovely. they had a small daughter and a son, however the son was not at home as he was out with his cow bell chasing Santa.

Table at the house was set up so nicely with nuts and fruit and chocolate...and the atmosphere was a cheerful, fun going one.

After playing with the little girl, and waiting on Santa....he finally arrived.

I was so excited and also a bit nervous...I really was not sure why I was nervous and it was so odd to be so as I know it was just a man dressed up as Santa....However the whole atmosphere made the whole thing seem so real and I just felt so swept up in the whole Sammi Klaus spirit.

So after being told that I am a good kid, I like to sing the sound of music, I fall of my bikes and that I have not been bad up to date....I said my little Swiss rhyme.....and all went well.

after receiving my bag of treats from Santa which also had a little Swiss German to German dictionary inside (the best gift I could get) it was then time for a few photos with Santa.

After we all had been spoken to by Santa (well Emilia, the little girl and I )

It was time for Santa and Schmutzli to go....well not until a photo was taken of course.

It was then off to the village in the rain for us to see the Santa running festivities and drink hot Swiss wine.

people paraded through he street with bells, kids whacked wisps and the Santa’s ran through the street (just an amazing site to see.....I have never seen so may Santas in my life).

I drank my wine and listened to all the Santas say a rhyme style thing.

after all of that the day was over. it was back home chat for a bit with Emilia and her Host parents...
and then it was off to bed after a wonderful day.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems that cow bells are more a part of the Swiss traditions than I thought.

I am pleased that Santa thought you had been good to date. Dictionary is a great present.

Sent the letter about 2 days ago. Let me know when it arrives.


December 16, 2007 10:25 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Angela
sounds like you are having a great time you lucky thing .We had a lovely visit with Victoria and Emily last week .It was good to see them and for the girls to have time together ,lots of shopping was done .
I hope you have a lovely white xmas very different to here .We hope to go to Tassie at Easter so lookforward to hearing more on your trip .have a great xmas and new year
Lots of love Aunty Joy Uncle John Kate Sara and Lauren

December 20, 2007 2:31 am  

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