Switzerland winter

By Devlyn Cornell and Izzy Andrews

Advent is the period beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve, historically seen as the preparation for the Birth of Christ.

Trychle in Meiringen

Midnight on 25 December heralds the start of a rambunctious procession through Meiringen and neighbouring villages in the Bernese Oberland, which will take place every evening up to and including New Year’s Eve.

Traditional attire

Silvesterkläuse in Urnäsch

The “Silvesterkläuse” is a tradition that is almost entirely confined to the Urnäsch area of Appenzell Ausserrhoden. The best-known “Kläuse” wear female or male masks and costumes with huge cowbells back and front and carry enormous headdresses.

Star singing

Epiphany and star singing

“Star singing” is a widespread custom which is practiced, mostly by children, from the last week of Advent to Epiphany (6 January). It takes its name from the star that the singers carry, representing the star that guided the three wise men to Bethlehem.


Many of the foods are relatIvly normal for the dessert although for their dinner they have exotic meals with sausage and lots of carbs.

The tree

The crystal globes represent the simplicity of light.
The snowflakes represent the four distinct regions of Switzerland.
The stars represent not only the light from heaven but also the guiding light and the joy of light.
The white candles made of traditional wax represent the pure white season of light.
Only real candles decorate the tree not electric ones.
The star treetop represents the star of Bethlehem.