Clau Wau - The World Championship of Santa Clauses

Bernhard Aeschbacher with his beard whitened for Clau Wau. photo courtesy of Bernhard

Bernhard Aeschbacher with his beard whitened for Clau Wau.
photo courtesy of Bernhard

You know by now that we love fancy dress and prizes. With Santa Claus you get all of that in one fantastic bowl-of-jelly package. But you may be asking how the heck is this a competition?

Well it’s called the Clau Wau and it happens every year to kick off the ski season in Samnaun, Switzerland. In their search for the best Santa Claus team in the world they put Santas through such events as sleigh racing, chimney climbing, reindeer rodeo, gift giving, running under a big hat. As you do.

Of course the degree of difficulty is ramped up and they do it on snow, so there is actually quite a high level of athleticism involved. Add fun and merriment. A great way to kick off the holiday season.

We start with Bernard Aeschbacher the head of the tourism board in Samnaun, and he gives us some background on the Clau Wau.

Oliver and Jessica Prinz are competitors who have competed numerous times over the years and they give us the scoop on events and how to rodeo reindeer.

And we wrap it up with Michael Gämperli who is the current world champion! He gives us some pointers on how to win.

Get your Santa outfits packed up and let’s head to Swizerland!




Jessica and Team Spekulatius (a delicious cookie!)

Jessica and Team Spekulatius (a delicious cookie!)

These guys look awesome. courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

These guys look awesome.
courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Bunch of Santas and a donkey. photo by  ClauWau

Bunch of Santas and a donkey. photo by ClauWau

Creepy santa is not one of the events. photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Creepy santa is not one of the events.
photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

This stool-on-a-ski thing is an event. Photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

This stool-on-a-ski thing is an event.
Photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Bucking Reindeer Rodeo Photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Bucking Reindeer Rodeo
Photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Chimney Climbing!  photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Chimney Climbing!

photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Santa has upgraded her sleigh Photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Santa has upgraded her sleigh
Photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Tree trimming? Photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Tree trimming?
Photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Whole lotta Santas! Photo courtesy of  Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Whole lotta Santas!
Photo courtesy of Engadin Samnaun Val Mustair

Ted Ladue