The countdown is running. The preparation for the Festtage (Holidays) needs to be finished soon. Grocery shopping is done. Germans celebrate Christmas already at December 24th, the Christmas eve. In my family it is tradition to eat German potato salad and sausage in the evening after returning from the church service.
The Christmas star originates in Mexico and it can be found everywhere in Germany during the Holiday season, decorating homes and shops with its beautiful red and green leaves.
Have you ever heard about a Schwibbogen? Ask a person in Germany and everybody will know. Of course. There is no real translation for this decorative candle-holder. It originated in the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains), a part of Saxony in Germany. The first Schwibbogen was found in 1740. It is an expression of the miners' wish to see the light during their longs shifts underground. The bow represents the entrance to the mine and the light the lamps that where hung on the wall in the mine.
Often Schwibbögen (Plural of Schwibbogen) show mining and craftsmen themes: miners, carvers, hammers, lights, later also symbols of the Nativity and the Holiday season in general.
This is the huge Schwibbogen of the Striezelmarket in Dresden. It is over 6 meter long and people can walk on it to enjoy the view over the Christmas market.
Who doesn't know Tchaikovsky's ballet Der Nussknacker (The Nutcracker)? It is performed in Germany every year during the Holiday season in numerous theaters and opera houses.
Lots of music has been written over the centuries about the Nativity.
The Weihnachtshistorie SWV 435 (The Christmas Story), written by German composer Heinrich Schütz was first performed 1660 in Dresden/Germany. It tells the story of the birth of Jesus Christ.
You can find the free score to follow along here.
For lyrics and translations into English click here.
Another delicious German Holiday treat is the Lebkuchen or Pfefferkuchen (gingerbread).
There are two cities in Germany which are most famous where these treats are made: Pulsnitz and Nürnberg.
Peter Cornelius, a German composer, poet and writer composed beautiful Weihnachtslieder (Christmas songs). He lived 1824 -1874 and during his life he met the Brothers Grimm, Mendelssohn, Wagner, Eichendorff and many other prominent figures.
We can't imagine the holiday season without a Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree). In former times the tree was decorated with nuts, apples and other fruits. Only in the 18th century people started to use candles and later electric lights to illuminate the tree and to hang many different kinds of ornaments on it.
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Most blog posts from June 2017 - June 2018 were written by GVAI's blogger Anikka Abbott who has just started her journalism studies. We already miss her. Learn more about her here or connect with her on Facebook.
Hello, I am Christine, the director of GVAI, a passionate singer, German diction, voice and performance coach. I love music, singing and dancing. Life is an exciting journey and I invite you to walk with me....