Saint Nicolas is a student chosen by the pupils at St Michel College

Saint Nicolas is a student chosen by the pupils at St Michel College

Photos: Saint Nicolas Fribourg

Comité de la St-Nicolas

Fribourg, Canton Fribourg, Switzerland

Saint-Nicolas à Fribourg

In one of Switzerland's most important customs, Saint Nicholas, patron saint of Fribourg, rides his donkey from St Michel College to the Saint Nicolas Cathedral. The parade, outlawed in 1763, was revived in 1906 by students from St Michel who took their private celebration back to the city streets. The parade is simple: Saint Nicolas, his helpers, the college marching band and a group of singers. All the participants are students. Yet thousands pack the streets to carry on the tradition.
Saint Nicolas is a student chosen by the pupils at St Michel College
St Nicolas' helpers pass out Christmas biscuits and peanuts to the spectators
Waving to the crowds
Children delight in the good saint
Baskets filled with treats for the crowd
After arriving at the cathedral St Nicolas goes up to the balcony above the porch to deliver a mocking speech, summing up the previous year