Samnaun celebrates tenth santa event

6th December 2010, by Chris Gill

In the festive spirit ... Clau Wau 2010

In the festive spirit ... Clau Wau 2010

Last week the Swiss resort of Samnaun was filled with the ho ho ho’s of Santa Claus – not just one, but a whole bunch of them out to prove who was the best.

There’s a tradition in Samnaun that might confuse any visiting children, because it involves a rather large number of bearded men in red suits delivering presents - one hundred of them in fact. Then again, they do represent the world’s festive helpers.

But the annual Clau Wau World Championships aims to find the best santa team. And the tenth edition of this fun, but competitive, event recently kicked off the winter season in the Swiss resort.

If you think Santa has a cushy life in Lapland, reading endless wish lists and working one day a year to deliver those wishes, then Samnaun shows you just how tough it is to keep that job. Each year since 2001, the world’s best Santa’s have come together to take part in the contest; teams from as far away as India and Australia, as well as Europe (including a team from the UK).

Dubbed the ‘red madness’ the Clau Wau is probably best compared with the likes of ‘It’s a Knockout’ and ‘The Generation Game’, with teams of four competing in events designed to test their superstar status – and their right to distribute presents.

So, you have the sleigh race, chimney race, present carrying and zipfy bob fun… The teams gather points, but only 16 qualify for the final. 

As well as the competition, Samnaun Dorf put on a Christmas market and live music. And this year’s winner?  Team Uwer-Chläuse from Switzerland! In fact, the Swiss teams took the first three places; but then they were on home snow.


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