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Posts Tagged ‘Weihnachten’

Weihnachtskrippe

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Weihnachtskrippe is the name given to a Nativity scene in Germany, often found in town centres during advent.  It depicts the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem.

Many families have their own model Weihnachtskrippe at home.  Some of these are self-made, others have been collected over a period of time with a new figure being added each year.  Typically, these are also passed down through the generations.

Surprisingly, they were banned in churches at the end of the 18th Century.

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

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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:

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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:

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Nußknacker

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Nußknacker are a decorative form of nut crackers. Although they are usually able to crack nuts using their mouths, they are normally used as Christmas ornaments.  They have the form of a person, such as a soldier in uniform.

Originating from the area around the Ore mountains they can have around 60 moving parts!

The figures inspired the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky.

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

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Glühwein

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Glühwein is wine that has been spiced and heated up – although not boiled! It is drunk in winter during advent and as such is strongly associated with Christmas in Germany.

The main spices used are cinnamon, cloves, lemon and aniseed and both red and white wine can be used, although red wine is more common at the markets. It is also available ready-to-drink in bottles and cartons at supermarkets.

In English it is known as mulled wine.

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

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Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast



 

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