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Klausjagen Procession (St. Nicholas Chase) in Küssnacht am Rigi
Dec 5, 2022 @ 8:15 PM - 11:00 PM
Some might say that the Swiss are a reserved kind of people and that Christmas is a quiet time. The eve of St. Nicholas Day tells another story.
On December 5, the streets of Küssnacht am Rigi fill up with thousands of people, lights go down and the noise goes up as the impressive Klausjagen procession makes its way through the town. This event is all about "chasing" the Swiss colleague of Santa, the Samichlaus.
Klausjagen is one of the best-kept secrets of St. Nicholas Day traditions in Europe
Over a thousand people become a part of the traditional procession every year. Some are cutting the air with swirling whips, others are wearing gigantic, ornate paper lanterns (Iffelen), hundreds of men are rhythmically clanging huge cowbells and blowing cow horns. Right in the middle of all the happenings, spectators get to see St. Nicholas himself. And if your kids have behaved this year, they can expect a treat from one of the accompanying Schmutzlis.
The long history going back to the Middle Ages, as well as the considerable number of participants and spectators, make Klausjagen one of the most noteworthy St. Nicholas Day traditions in Europe.
The procession begins at 8:15 PM on the Seebodenstrasse. There is also a children's procession earlier that day at 2:15 PM (it starts at the Reformierte Kirche Hofstrasse).
(Photograph copyright Matthias Zepper/Wikipedia)