Each Christmas Swiss children receive a visit from Samichlaus — that’s Swiss German for St. Nick — and his black-clad henchman, Schmutzli. Visits are traditionally on St Nicklaus day, Dec 6, but Switzerland’s dynamic Christmas duo can arrive at any time. Samichlaus knocks on the door, frightened but excited kids answer. Samichlaus consults his big book of sins — co-authored by village parents — and does some light-hearted moralizing. Then he asks the kids to earn a little forgiveness by reciting a poem. After this and some assurances that they will reform, Samichlaus allows the children to reach deep into his bag for a smattering of tangerines, nuts, gingerbread, and other treats.
Happy samichlaus night everyone out there! Wish I was there!