• The annual gathering of St Nicholases and Santas marks opening of the ski season at resort of Verbier
  • 2,656 men, women and children dressed for the occasion, making it a record Santa gathering in Switzerland
  • Now in its fourth year, it is very popular; resort offers daily pass to every skier who comes in costume

There are still a few weeks to go, but Christmas came early to the Swiss Alps today – in the form of multiple skiing Santa Clauses and St Nicholases.

Obviously there’s only one real Father Christmas, so any children witnessing the blur of red that whizzed down the slopes at Verbier needn’t be alarmed.

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