German Words for the Day: Altglas, Ruhezeit and Nachbarschaftslärm

Adhering to the Ruhezeit (quiet time) in Germany also requires  knowing when you can dump your glass bottles for recycling.

In Oberursel, the times are Monday – Saturday from 8:00 – 13:00 and again from 15:00 – 19:00. The time in between is the so-called Ruhezeit, when you can’t play any musical instruments, and do any drilling or other noisy home improvements (paid repairmen are excluded from this rule). You should also avoid doing noisy housework.

Yes, this is a quiet country.

The Federal Office for Environment suggests not using the Altglassammelbehälter (recycling glass container) after 20:00. Our area, the Rosengärtchen is a residential area, and I can only assume that because of this, the dropping-off is limited to 19:00.

More on the rules and explanations of timely restrictions from the federal office are here in German: http://www.umweltbundesamt.de/themen/verkehr-laerm/nachbarschaftslaerm-laerm-von-anlagen/altglassammelbehaelter#textpart-1

Nachbarschaftslärm: neighborhood noise pollution

Braunglas

Nikolaus in Germany and the American Santa

Today, 6 December, is Nikolaustag. This is when children leave their boots outside the front door, and Nikolaus fills them with treats. As traditions vary throughout Germany, in northern Bavaria, where I grew up, we put our boots outside on the evening of 6 December.

In other areas (and other family traditions), boots are put outside on the evening of 5 December, with Nikolaus stopping by throughout the night to fill up the boots. Forget the reindeer, his transportation is unknown.

Nikolaus versus Santa

Santa versus Nikolaus

Santa was the invention of a German immigrant to the U.S.A. The cartoonist, Thomas Nast, was commissioned to design a comic figure for an American magazine. From there, Coca Cola picked up the same image and started using it in its commercials. That’s how Santa was born.

Saint Nikolaus himself was a bishop from Myra (Turkey), dating back to the 4th century. He is the patron saint of children, hence the gift-giving to the children, which dates back to the Middle Ages.

German Advent Calendar with Spirits

Have some fun giving this one away! This one is filled with 24 mini liquor bottles.

My adult daughter asked for one, but I left her with clear instructions not to open its Türchen (little door) in the morning, as one would usually do. 🙂

 

Germany’s Oldest Christmas Market is in Dresden

Which town has the oldest Christmas Market in Germany? Among the many questions I get from expats around the area, this one is related to Christmas.

The town  is Dresden. Its Christmas Market, also locally referred to as Striezelmarkt, was the first one of its kind to be mentioned in 1434.

Meaning of Striezel (m): 1) In eastern and central Germany, a Striezel is a yeast dough bread, similar to Stollen (e.g. Weihnachtsstollen). 2) The term can also stand for ‘naughty boy’.

snowman

List of Christmas Markets around Oberursel

Many expats and visitors to Germany head to the ever so commercial Christmas markets in the bigger cities, e.g. Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Nuremberg, for that special Christmas flair.

I have been here in Germany for more than 20 years, and have got to know the big ones as being crowded, over-priced, and offering the same old merchandise.

oberursel-weihnachtsmarkt-2014

It is better to go to the smaller ones, where merchandise has been individually crafted, there are home baked goods, prices are lower, and they are less crowded.

Some vendors are volunteers working for a kindergarten or a charity organization, some represent the local fishing club, others sell handcrafted items made my mentally/physically challenged people, etc. The smaller markets are much more individual.

Around the Oberursel area, we have the following Christmas markets, which usually range from one day to four days.

The one listed in Friedberg is the only one which runs for a full four weeks.

10 Dec 2016 (Sat): Massenheim from 16:00 – 22:00 Address: center of the village

Edit: The Massenheim Christmas market takes place on 03 December. This is from a more reliable source – my friend, Peter, who, along with his ensemble, plays there tomorrow.

11 Dec 2016 (Sun): Bommersheim 12:00 – 20:00(part of  Oberursel) Address: Burgstrasse/Lange Strasse

29 Nov – 23 Dec 2016: Friedberg  http://www.friedberger-advent.de/

24 – 27 Nov 2016 (Thu – Sun): Oberursel Address: Innenstadt bis Marktplatz

03 -04 Dec 2016 (Sat – Sun): Stierstadt 14:00 – 18:00 Address: Gartenstrasse

03 -04 Dec 2016 (Sat – Sun): Steinbach Address: Kirchgasse and Pijnackerplatz

09 – 11 Dec 2016 (Fri – Sun): Bad Vilbel Address: Wasserburg http://www.kultur-bad-vilbel.de/weihnachtsmarkt/

29 Nov 2016 (Sun): Dortelweil (part of Bad Vilbel) 11:00  –  18:00

If you know of any others in the area, please share them under ‘comments’ or send me an e-mail.