If you are undertaking house or office moves to Switzerland, two key events you can look forward to in your host country are Christmas and New Year celebrations. Whether you are enjoying Christmas at home with the family or watching fireworks being set off against the backdrop of a picturesque lake at New Year, your first festive celebrations in Switzerland will always be remembered. If you are planning a house move to Switzerland, seeing the New Year in is synonymous with a brand new beginning and a fresh start – just like moving house.
Whatever the date of your move, you can look forward to joining in the festivities. Here’s our brief guide to what you can expect when you bring in the New Year at the end of 2014...and as they say in Swiss-German ‘Es guets Nöis!’
House Moves to Switzerland – click here for full information on domestic or commercial removals to Switzerland or contact us direct on 01379 855203.
Christmas in Switzerland
If you are celebrating Christmas in Switzerland, the good news is that there are a host of celebrations at this time of year, and wherever you choose to settle you will find one near you.
The fourth Sunday before Christmas Eve hails the start of Advent, which is said to teach children the benefits of patience. Householders decorate their windows for Advent, and the opening of each Advent window corresponds with an open house which is followed by music and mulled wine. Advent candles (four arm candles) also mark the countdown to Christmas. One candle is lit for on the first Sunday, and two on the second, and so on until all four candles are lit.
In addition to this, church services, concerts, parades and carol singing events take place all over the country. Among the many celebrations is Trychle in Meiringen, which involves processions each evening from Christmas Day until New Year’s Eve. It’s a noisy celebration too, as the locals carry drums or cowbells to make as much din as possible to drive away evil spirits.
If you are short of Christmas gift ideas, there are some amazing Christmas markets all over the country, where you can also whet your appetite with a glass of mulled wine, and tasty waffles or sausages. The largest, and what are considered the most attractive, are the Basel Markets which start at Advent and run until December 23. You can find them next to the cathedral in Munsterplatz and in the Old Town in Barfusserplatz.
St Nicklaus Day takes place on December 6 and is traditionally when the children get a visit from St Nicholas and his ‘evil’ twin called "Schmutzl’. The children receive small gifts after they recite a poem to gain forgiveness for their naughty deeds. This usually happens on the day, but can take place after December 6th.
The week before Christmas, the youngest members of the household visit homes of friends and relatives and bring small gifts. The Christmas tree is chosen and cut down on Christmas Eve and is decorated after Midnight Mass, after which the families feast on doughnuts and hot chocolate.
Families enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve – which usually takes the form of boiled ham, scalloped potatoes with melted cheese, followed by walnut cake and gingerbread biscuits.
Fondue is traditionally eaten at this time of year, and is a popular winter dish (as in summer it is mainly eaten by tourists).
After Christmas dinner it is traditional to attend Midnight Mass, and the service followed by decorating the tree with real candles. Families will either present gifts on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day or on January 6th.
New Year in Switzerland
If you are in Switzerland over the New Year period, the good news is that the Swiss like to bring in the New Year in style and you will find some fantastic, vibrant and colourful celebrations taking place all over the country – all against a scenic backdrop of beautiful lakes or mountains.
If you are in the popular ski resort area of Zermatt, you may have the chance to bring in the New Year with fireworks and music. However you are celebrating in Zurich during 2014 you can join the thousands of people at Silvesterzauber, and soak up the atmosphere on the shores of the Lake Zurich. Now in its 12th year, you can enjoy a fantastic firework display and dance the night away. Don’t eat before you go as there will be plenty of food and drink on offer.
Interlaken also attracts thousands of people for the New Year. Here, you will also find all sorts of festivities including a gala dinner, an open air concert and a massive firework display. The celebrations end with a procession designed to ward off evil spirits.
About Hamiltons Removals
If you are organising house moves to Switzerland, Hamiltons are the experts, and whether you require domestic or commercial moves, we will help make the entire process, from door to door, run smoothly.
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