German Words Explained  
   
 
Transcripts
 
 
 
 
Get the Kseigel Transcript!
 
 


Archive for the 'Christmas' Category

Weihnachtspyramide

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

The Weihnachtspyramide is a German Christmas decoration which originally came from the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains).

It is usually a round, wooden form with four or more candles.  These candles produce the heat that turns the fan-shaped top, which in turn rotates the platforms on which small figures stand.

These figures often depict Christmas scenes, but may also show figures typical to the Erzgebirge such as people from the woods and the mountains.

Their shapes gives them their name – the rotating platforms are wider at the bottom than at the top, ie. a pyramid form.  However they only aquired this name at the end of the 18th century, when Napoleon invaded Egypt and the news of the pyramids there reached Germany.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



Dominosteine

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

DominosteineThe word Dominostein is used to describe a small baked sweet that is eaten at Christmas time in Germany.  It is made up of two or three layers, the base being Lebkuchen, the middle fruit jelly, and the top layer marzipan or persipan.  This is then covered in a thin chocolate coating.

Dominosteine are a relatively recent invention.  They were created in Dresden in 1936 and were popular during the Second World War as a form of sweet due to the small amounts of ingredients needed to make them.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



Heilige Drei Könige

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Heilige Drei Könige is celebrated on 6th January. In some areas of Germany it is a public holiday.

The day celebrates the arrive of the three wise men from the east in Bethlehem. In the Evangelical Church it is known as Epihanias – similar to the English name of the day in some countries “Epiphany”.

On this day, groups of children known as Sternsinger go from door to door and sing a song or recite a poem or prayer. They then write in chalk above the door C+B+M and the number of the year with three crosses, eg. 20*C+M+B+08. These letters stand for the latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, meaning “God protect this house”.

The Sternsinger also collect donations for childrens’ charities.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



Silvester

Monday, December 31st, 2007

Silvester is the last day of the year, 31st December, known in English as New Year’s Eve.

Many people hold or visit parties on this evening, others spend the evening with their families at home.

Popular things to eat on this evening are raclette and fondue. At midnight everyone goes out onto the streets and lets of fireworks to celebrate the New Year.

A long running television programme is the Silvesterstadl shown on the public broadcast ARD, which runs for about 4 hours and contains traditional folk music as well as sketches and interviews, many of which are connected with Silvester traditions.

The most well-known television programme on this day must, however, surely be Dinner for Onea 20-minute sketch with Freddie Frinten and May Warden which is shown every year on several channels which over the years has become a traditional part of Silvester viewing for a large part of the German population.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



Weihnachten

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

The 25th and 26th of December are celebrated in Germany as 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag and 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag. These days are public holidays, a tradition that dates back to Martin Luther.

Unlike many English-speaking countries, presents are not exchanged on these days, as this happens on Heiligabend.

Instead, many families come together on these days and eat together. For example, couples with children will spend the 25th with one set of grandparents, and the 26th with their others.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



 

By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies. [more information]

This website uses cookies to give you the best browsing experience possible. Cookies are small text files that are stored by the web browser on your computer. Most of the cookies that we use are so-called “Session cookies”. These are automatically deleted after your visit. The cookies do not damage your computer system or contain viruses. Please read our privacy information page for more details.

Close