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Showing posts from November, 2014

The Swiss Adventsfenster Tradition

In earlier posts, I've already introduced the Adventskranz (Advent Wreath) and the Adventskalender (Advent or Christmas Calendar) - two Swiss Christmas traditions that accompany us through advent by counting the days or weeks that are left until Christmas eve. Another Swiss Christmas Tradition 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 of a communal tradition. Adventsfenster -  Babajezas Wundert├╝te Advent Windows - What are they? The tradition of  Adventsfenster is common mainly in smaller towns and villages of Switzerland, with maybe a few city neighbourhoods joining in. The idea is that all over the village or neighbourhood there are 24 people - mostly families and schools but also couples o

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, 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. Advent is the season of waiting and preparation before the actual Christmas on December 25th. Store-bought Christmas Calendars 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 chocol

The Swiss Baby Name Charts

baby -  Helene Souza  / 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