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Showing posts from November, 2014

Adventsfenster

In earlier posts, I've already introduced the Adventskranz (Advent Wreath) and the Adventskalender (Christmas Calendar) - two Swiss Christmas traditions that accompany us through advent by counting the days or weeks that are left until Christmas eve. Now, there is a third tradition during the Christmas season which includes the counting of the 24 first days of December: the Adventsfenster (Advent Windows) In contrary to the Advent Wreath and the Christmas Calendar which are family traditions and take place at home, this tradition takes place outside and is more a communal tradition.

Adventsfenster are common mainly in smaller towns and villages of Switzerland. This is how it works: All over the village or neighborhood there are 24 people - mostly families and schools but also couples or even local businesses - who decorate one or more of their windows in a holiday theme. During the decoration process and until a window is publicly revealed on its allocated day, the windows stay clo…

How to Make Your Own Christmas Calendar

Another year is over and Christmas is just around the corner. As in many parts of Europe, people in Switzerland enjoy the tradition of counting the days until Christmas eve. This is usually done with an Advent Calendar (advent is the season of waiting and preparation before Christmas) also called a Christmas Calendar which counts the 24 days from December 1st o 24th or an Advent Wreath that counts the last four Sundays before Christmas.

Every department store and supermarket in Switzerland has a selection of ready-to-use Christmas Calendars on sale - most of them in form of a wintery picture with one little door or window to open every day. Personally, I prefer homemade calendars but then you might not be lucky enough to receive one every year so a store bought one can be a solution. This way at least you'll get to enjoy the suspense and surprise as to whats hidden behind a window. Some actually have little chocolates hidden behind the windows.

Homemade calendars (and ready-made c…

The Swiss Baby Name Charts

Every couple of years the Federal Bureau of Statistics publishes a report on the most popular baby names in Switzerland. In 2008-2010 the winners in the German part of Switzerland were Lena and Noah followed by a variety of other short and quite international names. While Noah still leads the list of most popular baby names in the 2011-2013 report, Lena has been replaced by Mia. Also, there are a quite few "new" names in the top 8 of first names 2011-2013.

The 8 most popular baby names in Switzerland 2011-2013:

Girls:
Mia (+1)*Alina (+2)Sara (+4)Laura (+1)Lea (+/-0)Sophia (new)Leonie (new)Emma (new)
Boys: Noah (+/-0)Leon (+1)Luca (-1)Julian (new)Levin (+4)David (+/-0)Nico (-1)Gian (new)
* in brackets the comparison to the 2008-2010 report

The most popular names in French speaking Switzerland were Emma and Gabriel, Sofia and Gabriel in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, and in the Rumantsch speaking part Chiara and Jonas were most popular.




Source: www.bfs.admin.ch


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