Most Swiss people do have a christmas tree at home from mid December to the 6th of January. In Switzerland, many trees are not sold in shops but rather on the streets during the week before christmas.
Naturally grown christmas trees are still very popular among Swiss people. Despite the fact that natural trees will inevitable loose needles after some days in a warm living room only a minority of the population does prefer artificial christmas trees.
christmas trees on sale in the streets of Lucerne, Switzerland
As the official language of 75% of the Swiss population is German (or, to be more precise, Swiss German dialects) and other major national languages are French and Italian, Switzerland's language regions share the christamas carol traditons of their neighbouring countries Germany, Austria, France and Italy. There are a only few specifically Swiss christmas songs, mostly with simple tunes and words designed for small children that are not yet able to understand ancient standard German dating back to the 16th and 17th century when most of the classical German carols were written.
Special christmas lights in downtown streets have a long tradition in
Switzerland's cities. Classical motives like christmas stars or crowns
reminding of the three kings on their pilgrimage to Bethlehem used to
dominate until the end of the 20th century.
christmas lights in the streets of downtown Lucerne, Switzerland
Recently motives from other countries like Santa Claus on a sledge with reindeer (which used to be unknown in Switzerland) and completely abstract light installations have become quite popular.
While cookies, ornaments and all sorts of gifts are quite actively promoted in Swiss shops already in late October, nice or funny christmas cards are quite difficult to find.
Christmas decoration in Switzerland
In every (native) Swiss family, baking cookies for Christmas is a cherished tradition and everybody has some favorite recipies inherited from grandma.
You can find different varieties of cookies in Swiss supermarkets all year, but towards the end of the year the number of varities is twice as high and the additional varieties offered in November and December are classical Christmas cookies.
Nevertheless, baking cookies at home is still the "real thing" for most families with children and though supermarkets sell cookies in large quantities in December there are promotional discounts on some classical cookie ingredients like ground hazelnuts and almonds already in November. Last but not least, most people would agree that cookies made according to grandma's special recipe simply taste much better ...
Handmade dolls on Christmas market in Lucerne, Switzerland
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