What to Expect on A Traditional Christmas in Switzerland

Are you planning to spend your Christmas holidays in Switzerland, and you don’t know what to expect? Then you are in the right place. The Swiss Christmas is just around the corner, and the residents have started decorating the streets with street lights.

Although Christmas in Switzerland shares many customs with its neighbours, such as fairy lights and tree lights, the Swiss are exceptional and practise localised traditions in each canton. This action makes the Christmas season a unique practice in this part of the world. Continue reading this article to familiarise yourself with various Christmas traditions in Switzerland.

Here are some great traditions you should expect when visiting this country during Christmas.

Advent wreath

The four Sundays that precede a Christmas day are deeply embedded in tradition in Switzerland. During this period, you will find Advent Wreaths decorated with four candles and fir branches. The four large candles are distributed within the four Sundays before Christmas, and a candle is lit every Sunday.

Christmas Cookie Banking

It is a tradition for every family to bake several batches of Christmas cookies. You will experience different kinds of cookies, such as Chrabbeli, Brunsli, Zimtsterne, and Mailanderli, to name a few.


Towards the end of November, you will start seeing small parades of beetroot lanterns throughout the country. These are called Rabeliechtli. Kids usually carve them at schools with the help of their teachers and parents. After which, they use them to walk around the villages while singing.

Klausjagen Tradition

On December 5th, as night approaches, you will hear whips and bell sounds across the winter night in the small villages. People will be enjoying an event dub as chasing Claus or waiting for Christmas day to arrive. On this night, men and boys form groups and wear white shepherd’s shirts and black and red hearts. They then go around the village ringing their bells.

Christmas Eve

On this night, do not forget to stroll around the streets and markets for an ultimate experience. Christmas Eve (Heiliger Abend) is well celebrated across Switzerland according to the unique tradition of each village or town. Most families will prefer to hold their outdoor holiday events during this time. You can choose ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, and dog-sledging, among other unique activities.

Amazing Santa Claus Poems

In their traditions, Swiss people believe Santa Claus usually visits them on December 6th. During his visit, Santa presents mandarins, peanuts, and chocolates, among other gifts, to children. A child’s behaviour determines the gift distribution in that year. Also, the number of gifts a child receives increases when they recite a short rhyme for Santa. That is why children are fond of reciting poems to Santa during this time of the year.

Candle dipping

Candle dipping events sit amongst the most fantastic Christmas traditions in Switzerland. The event is known to bring people together to embrace their culture. Also, many people get a chance to enjoy the best of their traditions in a fun-filled activity.

Candle dipping commences in late November, and many stalls are set up for this event. During the event, residents will dip wicks in tubs of molten wax. The wax is in different colours, and children can participate by making their own candles. The best thing about this is the proceeds of this event usually pay for the finished candles, and the rest is donated to charity.

Christmas Calendar

Like the neighbouring countries, Swiss residents enjoy numerous traditions by counting the days until Christmas eve. These activities are done with the help of a Christmas calendar, and the days commence from December 1st to December 24th.

Wrap Up

Switzerland is the best country to consider if you are searching for the best place to spend your Christmas this season. When you visit this country during Christmas, expect to participate in a fantastic traditional Christmas activity that runs from the 1st to the 24th of December. These activities include; cookie baking afternoon, ice skating, Klausjagen Tradition, candle dipping, visits to Christmas markets, and grittibanz baking, among other amazing activities that will leave you with incredible Christmas memories you will like.

Written by Bernard de Laguiche