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In Switzerland, Competing To Be The Top Claus

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Samnaun-Ravaisch, Switzerland

Did you think Santa Claus only delivered presents? Well, in Switzerland on the last weekend of November, would be Santa Clauses endure two grueling days of competition to find out who’s absolutely, positively the best Santa in the world. Now in its twelfth year, the ClaWau event attracts participants from around the globe. The only requirement to enter is a Santa outfit, three co-conspirators, and an adventurous attitude.

Teams of four are asked to host an entertainment presentation, drive a sleigh, build a gingerbread house, paint a picture, ride a wooden rocking horse in a relay race, tackle an obstacle course inside a giant Santa hat, have a stellar knowledge of world geography, and of course be able to scale a chimney. Both sexes can participate, so your next Santa could well be Ms. Claus.

All this jollity takes place in Samnaun, a ski resort in a part of Switzerland where Italy and Austria meet on the border. Even though there is no charge to enter, a prize of almost two thousand dollars is awarded to the winners, with the same amount donated to charity. Small wonder that this opening festival of the winter season continues to grow in popularity!

Learn more about celebrations happening around the world this week on World Music with Deirdre Saravia, Saturday nights at 8:00 on KSTX 89.1 FM.

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Deirdre as born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and her first paid work was at the age of 10 with the BBC as an actress on "Children's Hour." She continued to perform regularly on radio and stage for the next eight years, at which point she was informed by her parents that theater was not an option and she needed "real" work.