Lin­da Clif­ford

Hud­son Ori­gi­nal­ly from Ger­ma­ny

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Ch­rist­mas or“Wei­nach­ten” ce­le­bra­tions in Ger­ma­ny be­gin De­cem­ber 4 when chil­dren make pa­per lamps and go ca­rol­ling through the vil­lage in groups. Af­ter they go home to place an old boot out­side the front door and­wait for SaintNi­ko­laus to co­mew­hile they sleep. The next day they find lit­tle toy cars or dolls in the boot, but they know the big pre­sents will come De­cem­ber24.

Eve­ry town has a Ch­rist­mas Mar­ket where people ga­ther to drink “Gluh­wein” or­mul­led wine, eat Sauer­kraut and Bo­ck­wurst sau­sages and buy tra­di­tio­nal woo­den­tree or­na­ments or co­lour­ful candles.

OnDe­cem­ber 24, eve­ryone goes to church and then home for “bes­chae­ren” or gi­ving of gifts. They do this before ea­ting and it seems ve­ry­much like Thanks­gi­ving in Ame­ri­ca as it is a ve­ry im­por­tant time for fa­mi­lies. When the meal is ser­ved, it is tra­di­tio­nal to eat cheese fon­due or “fon­due Neu­scha­tel” or fish on Hei­lige Abend.

I ap­pre­ciate the Ger­man tra­di­tions be­cause I think they ce­le­brate the true va­lues of Ch­rist­mas... the birth of Je­sus and­being with fa­mi­ly.

PHOTO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

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