24 days of Swiss-mas

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Sankt Nikolaus Fest in Freiburg

Christian Merz / KEYSTONE

1 December – St Nicholas Day’s Celebrations in Fribourg

On the first Saturday of December, Saint Nicholas rides a donkey through Fribourg’s old town. On his way to the cathedral, he hands out gingerbread to children. At the end of the procession, he delivers a somewhat satirical speech in both French and German from the balcony of the cathedral. This St Nicholas Dayexternal link’s celebration is deeply rooted in Fribourg’s tradition as St Nicholas is the patron of the city.

Adventskalender Swissinfo

Swissinfo - Advent calendar

Christmas is just around the corner! swissinfo.ch has created an advent calendar for the occasion. From December 1 to 24, there’ll be a short article behind every little door about winter themes and Christmas traditions in Switzerland.

The Advent calendar is a Christian tradition that was created in the 19th century in German-speaking countries. It was introduced to let children know how much time was left until Christmas Eve in anticipation of the festivities.

In Switzerland, Advent calendars are popular in homes - either handmade and given away, or bought. Chocolate or pictures are often hidden behind the small doors.

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