Popular dish during Advent
Where does the Grittibänz actually come from?
The 6th of December not only includes Santa Claus, but also the Grittibänz. But where does the pastry come from?
The dough man symbolizes the dirt.
The name “Chriddibänz” first appeared in Aargau in 1857: “But we baked a celebratory bread in the shape of a man, called Chriddibänz”. In a calendar from 1860 it says, among other things: “Do away, braid and dance”.
Where does the name Grittibänz come from?
Around 1860, the Grittibänze were 15 to 60 centimeters tall and were made from gingerbread or bread dough. “Gritte, grittle, grattle” meant the spread position of the legs. Benz or Bänz was the short name for Benedikt. At that time, this first name was as common as Hans and Heiri and was so generalized that it was used for a “Maa”, i.e. man.
So the meaning of the name Grittibänz was: an (old) man with spread legs. It referred to the Schmutzli, who was originally a pagan figure with a severe demeanor. During Christianization he became a subject of the kind bishop St. Nikolaus.
The easiest Grittibänz recipe in the world is here.