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The countdown to Christmas, with Jung analysis and old pictures

Light Christmas advent boxes

2020 has been challenging, to put it mildly, so SWI would like to help you relax in the run-up to Christmas with four fun stops along the way. Sit back and click through some oddities and festive stories from our archives. 

Most households in Switzerland have recently welcomed a new member: the Christmas tree. Tiny or towering, real or plastic, a tree is a must for the perfect Christmas atmosphere. But where does this tradition come from?

Carl Gustav Jung knows. In 1957 the Swiss psychiatrist explained the symbolic significance of traditions like the Christmas tree, which he described as “food for the soul”. The conversation was translated for this Christmas feature by our predecessor, Swiss Radio International.

Exterior shot of C.G. Jung Institute, with statue in foreground

Excerpts from interview about Christmas with Carl Gustav Jung

Another tradition is Christmas markets, where you can find everything from homemade jam to artistic pottery – and, of course, huts full of festive food and deceptively boozy drink. Join us for a stroll through one of Switzerland’s most beautiful Christmas markets, by Einsiedeln Abbey.

Once upon a time, snow was a permanent winter feature in Swiss cities. Pictures dating back to the 1930s show how citizens – and camels! – coped with the slippery white blanket.

Will 2020 be a white Christmas? We’ll soon find out…

Snow scene with a rabbit back lit in the dark.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR