A Christmas Vacation in Zermatt

There are many reasons to spend a Christmas vacation in Zermatt Switzerland, the spectacular snowy mountain scenery that surrounds the town being one of them.  But the Christmas celebrations that you will have the opportunity to participate in and enjoy in Zermatt will make the holiday extra special as well.  The way that the holiday is celebrated in Zermatt is not much different than the way it is celebrated in many other European countries and in the United States, although there are a few significant differences.  Essentially, though, the meaning of the holiday and the reasons for each of the different celebrations that are part of the entire holiday season are very similar.  The differences, though, are what will make the Christmas you spend in Zermatt a one-of-a-kind, and a once in a lifetime, experience.  And there are few in particular that you will want to know about before you get there, so that you don’t miss out on the celebrations and traditions that make Zermatt Switzerland unique. 

  • Christmas Dinner is Served in Christmas Eve – While in many countries it is traditional to have a large dinner on Christmas Day, the main meal in Switzerland takes place on Christmas Eve.  This happens in the evening, rather than earlier in the day, and other festivities follow the meal, including a trip to midnight mass when the hour arrives.  If you are visiting Zermatt for the holidays and want to enjoy a Christmas Eve meal Switzerland style it is important to have reservations in place before you go.
  • Decorating the Christmas Tree – The decorating of the Christmas tree is also done on Christmas Eve in Switzerland as well, and this takes place after dinner is served.  The entire family participates in decorating the tree, and it is meant to be a joyous time among family.  Carols may be sung and music played, so it is a celebration in true celebration form.
  • The Visit From St. Nicholas – For children in many countries St. Nicholas visits on Christmas Eve, but in many areas in Switzerland his visit takes place on December 6.  Also, rather than leaving presents under the tree, St. Nicholas fills the polished shoes of the little children that await him with nuts, cookies, and oranges.

In Zermatt the traditions for Christmas definitely vary a bit, and that is what will make your Christmas vacation special, and what will leave you with lasting memories.

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