2_0_DiscoverGermany_October14_Issue19:Scan Magazine 1
Christmas time in Saxony – traditional art from the Ore Mountains, candle light and Stollen Only a few weeks to go and it is Christmas season again – but there is one place in the world where Christmas traditions are held high throughout the year and not only during the season: Saxony in Germany is the number one Christmas destination. Factories producing Christmas decorations are open throughout the year; many familyrun workshops invite tourists for a visit. TEXT: JESSICA HOLZHAUSEN
The traditional handcraft from the Ore Mountains – the Erzgebirge, as it is called in German – is famous all over the world for carving little figurines from wood or cutting beautiful candle arches – so called Schwibbögen. Pyramids containing several stories show the nativity or scenes from traditional village life. Some are painted in vibrant colours, others stick to the natural wood.
68 | Issue 19 | October 2014
Nutcrackers and incense smokers are the region’s wooden ambassadors. Local art and Christmas traditions often enough are a result of the Ore Mountain’s long mining history. Further east in Upper Lusatia stars made from vibrant paper play an important role – they were first used in Herrenhut more than 160 years ago and until today are handmade in local workshops.
Throughout the year tourists can visit open workshops, museums, factories and exhibitions and experience Saxony’s Christmas traditions. In December Saxony upholds its reputation as Christmas region in hosting Germany’s oldest Christmas market: The Striezelmarkt in Dresden. Dresden is not only famous for being the residential town of the former Electors of Saxony but also for a baked speciality: the Original Dresdner Christstollen. This bakery product is celebrated during the second week in advent with the Stollen feast when the people of Dresden pay homage to the tradition-rich Christmas pastry. For this, every year bakers bake a gigantic Stollen weighing several tons. Af-
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