Skip to main content

Posts

5 Swiss Christmas Traditions You Shouldn't Miss

Christmas Cookies - gänseblümchen / pixelio.de  Christmas season is just around the corner and all over Switzerland the streets are full of Christmas lights and decorations. There are certain aspects of Christmas that are pretty universal, e.g. the gifts, the tree and the lights. Yet, every country and region developed it's own style of celebrating this holiday and Switzerland is no exception. However, customs and traditions don't stop at official borders so it is very likely that our nearest neighbors in Austria and Germany have very similar Christmas traditions! 5 Swiss Christmas Traditions If you happen to be in Switzerland during the Christmas season or if you live here, you should take advantage of it and delve into some fun Swiss Christmas activities . If you don't know where to start, here is my list of not-to-miss Swiss Christmas Traditions . Cookie Baking : Yes, almost every Swiss family will bake several batches of Christmas Cookies. There are so many
Recent posts

Getting ready for Christmas in Switzerland

The first Sunday of the advent season has already passed and tomorrow those of us lucky enough to have a Christmas calendar will start opening it's doors or gifts. Christmas decorations have been up for weeks and Christmas songs are playing everywhere. It's time for celebrating the birth of Christ. Swiss Christmas Traditions Every country and region has their unique Christmas traditions and customs. In Peru, where I currently live, children are invited to a chocolatada in the week before Christmas eve. There they play games, sing songs, eat pannettone and drink hot chocolate. Hence the name 'chocolatada'. It's a loud and fun event that contrast quite strongly to the more pensive and meditative Christmas events I remember from my childhood in Switzerland. I don't know which I like better - they are different but both nice! So, what traditions for the holiday season do we have in Switzerland? Here are some I've written about in more detail before: Candle dippi

Sweet Spaghetti Called Vermicelles

Vermicelles in a glass Fall is approaching fast and the leaves on the trees are starting to change colors already. While some may lament the passing of summer, there are still many fun things to do during Fall in Switzerland . Most of the time, the weather is still nice and warm enough so that on a sunny day you can sit on your balcony enjoy a hot cup of coffee and something sweet. And what would be more suitable to this fall season in Switzerland than a typical Swiss dessert like Vermicelles ? What is Vermicelles? Vermicelles is a Swiss speciality dessert. It originated in the southern part of Switzerland called Ticino but now is loved by Swiss people all over. Like the hot marroni sold on the streets during fall and winter in Switzerland , Vermicelles are made mainly from chestnuts, with butter, sugar and Kirsch added to the mixture. Edible Chestnut - Reni  / pixelio.de  Vermicelles is sold in most supermarkets in Switzerland. It normally comes in big chunks of dough

It's Time to Bake Swiss Christmas Cookies

Swiss Christmas Cookies - Joujou  / pixelio.de It's that time of the year again, Christmas season is upon us. And even though this year's holidays will probably affected by more or less strict Covid-19 restrictions, it's still a season to rejoice and celebrate Christ's birth with family and friends. Christmas Season Joys Christmas eve is still a month away and with it the family get-together (if Covid restrictions allow for it!), the good food and the gifts. However, in Switzerland, there are many things that we enjoy throughout the Christmas season. I'm thinking of advent wreaths ,   christmas calendars  and advent windows to mark the time until Christmas eve, making a gingerbread house , doing some candle dipping , enjoying some hot glow wine and much more. However, the most typical Christmas activity in Switzerland - and one that songwriter Andrew Bond eternalized in his most famous Christmas song - is baking Swiss Christmas cookies! Typical Swiss Christmas Co

Where to go for your 1st of August Brunch

1st of August - Edith O.  / pixelio.de In just a few days, Switzerland will celebrate 1st of August . This day became an official Swiss national holiday in 1891 and commemorates the signing of the Bundesbrief , a letter declaring union between the three regions of Uri, Schwyz and Nidwalden, that took place in the beginning of August 1291. The celebrations for the Swiss national holiday on 1st of August usually include a speech by the president, fireworks, lampion processions, bonfires on mountain ridges called Höhenfeuer ('high fires') and lots of good Swiss food. Many people capitalize on this free day to enjoy an especially large (and late) breakfast, a typical 1st of August brunch , either at home or at one of the many farms that offer this Swiss staple on their premises. What Food is served at a Swiss 1st of August Brunch? A Swiss brunch isn't all that different from a usual Swiss  'Zmorge' (breakfast)  but it usually includes not only more food and more varie

Hiking in Switzerland after Corona

Hiking in the mountains - berggeist007  / pixelio.de  While other parts of the world are still struggling to contain the Covid-19 outbreak, Switzerland is on it's way back to normality. While the lockdown in Switzerland never has been as severe as in other countries, being forced to slow down, stay at home a lot and reduce social contacts hasn't been an easy thing for many people.  What saved many people from lockdown cabin fever was that there was never a general prohibition for outdoor activities . As long as you stuck to the safety recommendations it was perfectly fine to go for a walk in the forest with your family, ride your bike around Lake Zurich or hike one of the thousands of hiking trails in Switzerland . Definitely a smart decision! Hiking in Switzerland after Corona While you could always go hiking, it wasn't always easy or even possible to get to your desired hiking spot. Public transportation was limited and ALL mountain railways (including cable cars and ch

Quarantine Art

At the moment, most of the world's population is under obligations to stay home as much as possible. Some countries (try to) enforce very strict rules that include complete lockdown on certain days and hours (e.g. Peru, Italy) - other countries don't want to give up on the last bit of freedom for their citizens and still allow people to go for a walk or run if they adhere to social distancing rules (e.g. Switzerland).  Now, while the second approach seems to be the more humane and probably one that can be endured better for a long period of time - we're speaking of months now - there are countries that argue they cannot go this path. One, their health systems would be overwhelmed and two, their cities are extremely crowded and population generally don't adhere to rules so social distancing in practice wouldn't be applied thoroughly enough. Peru is one of those countries with strict rules, lots of detentions for breaking them and is only just now entering th

How to Say "Child" in Swiss German

Children - S. Hofschaeger  / pixelio.de Over the last few years of blogging here on 'A Humorous Guide to Switzerland', I've written quite a few posts on language in Switzerland with a special focus on my native Swiss German. As a native speaker, there are few words I don't understand and rarely do I encounter a word I don't know but once in a while this is exactly what happens. If I'd tried to characterize my Swiss German dialect , I would probably say it's a mixture of Aargauerdütsch and Züridütsch, both dialects of the northern region of Switzerland called 'Mittelland' (lit. middle land). I understand most of the other Swiss German dialects, with the exception of Walliserdütsch (Valais Swiss German), but if I stumble upon an unknown Swiss German word it is almost always from a dialect different from my own. A New Swiss German Word Last time I came upon a surprising Swiss German word was last summer in Basel . I was enjoying a day i