December 6th is a big day for swiss kids: Tonight, thousand of swiss kids will receive a visit from Samichlaus — that’s Swiss German for St. Nick — and his black-clad henchman, Schmutzli. Kids usually await his arrival impatiently and slightly frightened. Samichlaus knocks on their door, enters and consults his big book of sins — co-authored by village parents — and does some light-hearted moralizing. Kids can 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.
We pushed the celebration back by a few days and will have Samichlaus show up at our doors this saturday. Swiss and german kids will gather in our living room, mulled wine will be served. Hooray! Best part of it all, my lovely pregnant (!!) friend Larissa will be Samichlaus, sporting this fancy outfit. Love it! Modern times!
Happy Samichlaus everyone!
(Picture originally uploaded by Rick Steve)