Räucherkerzen

Räucherkerzen are candles that produce a scented smoke. Commonly found scents are incense, pine, cinnamon and honey.

Coming originally from the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) they are often used as part of Christmas decorations, such as Räuchermännchen.

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

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Bergmannsfigur

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.

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

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

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Schwibbogen

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:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

Weihnachtspyramide

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:

(Press the “play” button to listen to the podcast)

Download a transcript

Download the MP3 file | Subscribe to the podcast

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