December 6 is the St. Nicholas Day ( “Santa Claus” or “Samiglais” in German-speaking Switzerland). the Santa Claus’s visit is a milestone in the Advent in preparation for Christmas for many children and families.
The Samiglais wearing a red coat with a hood and a long white beard. The dark-clad “Schmutzli” is always a companion from Samiglais. The two come on the evening of the 6th of December to the children home, visiting schools and kindergartens and carrying a sack full of nuts, tangerines, gingerbread and other goodies with it. The children practice special Samiglais sayings, which they recite and are rewarded with treats for the day. The Schmutzli also have a tail there to punish naughty children, but this is almost never used.
Earlier naughty children was threatened, the Samiglais take them in his bag in the forest when they did not obey. Today, however, St. Nicholas is especially true as the dear old man who brings gifts.
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