A German Christmas

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A German Christmas

The german people decorated homes with evergreens and fruit and paper roses. Since it was around the shortest day of the year, the lighting of candles, the green tree and the fruit on the tree were a remembrance of the spring and summer when everything was light and green. Through the centuries, in Germany there where at least three 'Weihnachtsmänner'. The first was Vater Thor, he was an old man with a long white beard, dressed in red. He rode through the skies in a gold chariots pulled by two white goats. St. Nicholas, a 4 th century bishop of Myra Asia, was known for his miracles and generosity, became a Saint to children. His helper is Knecht Ruprecht. Nicholas day is celebrated on the 6 th of December. The children set their shoes in front of the door or on the window sill in the evening od December 5 and hoping St. Nicholas brings them something sweet to eat. But if they where bad children they may get a switch. The Christkind is a young girl wearing a golden crown. She was a messenger from the Christ Child and personified the idea of giving gifts. This tradition happened in some areas around the same time that much of Germany separated from the Roman Catholic Church. In more the southern part of Germany, the three thursday evenings before Christmas are knocking nights. The children going from house to house saying rhymes beginning with the word 'knock'. The children crack whips, ring cowbells to drive away evil spirits. Green and red are always has been the classic christmas colors. Red is for christen people who spilled the blood of Jesus Christ. Green is the color of his faith fullness to the people. The old rules of christmas live on. When the table on Christmas is decorated with green branches from the fir tree, red apples and golden stars.

Komm, Herr Jesus, und sei unser Gast
und segne, was du uns gescheret hast.

Come, Jesus christ, be our guest
and bless what you have bestowed up on us.

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