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Posts Tagged ‘Weihnachten’

Bergmannsfigur

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

The Bergmannsfigur is a traditional Christmas decoration in the Erzgebirge area of Germany. They are wooden figures that hold a candle in each hand.

On becoming a father it was the duty of each man to make one of these figures, in the shape of a miner for a boy or an angel for a girl. These were placed in the windows of the houses and provided candlelight for the streets during the winter months when the miners would be going to and from their shift in darkness.

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Schwibbogen

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

A Schwibbogen is an arc-shaped wooden candle holder that originated in the Erzgebirge area of Germany.

Modern versions have electrical candles on them and can often be seen in people’s windows.

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

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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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