Christmas in Saxony

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Christmas in Saxony

This is the translation by Katharina Hines from: "Weihnachten in Sachsen"

Every country has it own Christmas tradition. And in every part of Germany the Christmas tradition is different, too.

This is a story about 80 years ago in Saxony. The 'Heiligabend' Christmas Eve is like any other working day. Even the meal was at that day very simple. At midnight the people get up to cut the Christstollen. The Christstollen was baked a few weeks ahead before Christmas. On Christmas morning every one got up very early, because at 6 am was the first church service and no one would like to miss it. After the church service, when the family got home, every stove would be lit. Even the one in the 'Gute Stube' living room. Because the stove in the living room only was lit on sundays. Every one had a meal together. After the meal was the 'Bescherung' and the opening of the presents. In the living room the mother would trim the christmas tree, the children where not allowed to see the tree before the 'Bescherung'. That was a long waiting period for the children to finally open their presents. Even the children from the rich family didn't get very many presents. From the near by 'Erzgebirge' frontier montains between the Saxony and Czecho-Slovakia many people made hand carved toys, angels, dolls and many decorations for the tree. THe 'Riesengebirge' that is a mountain range in the frontier mountains many 'Glasbläsereinen' glass blowers made beautiful christmas tree balls. The poor families made christmas stars from straw for the christmas tree decorations. Also nuts and apples where hung in the tree. Some families melted some lead and poured it for good luck. The church going families would not do it, they where more superstitious, they said it was not fitting for Christmas. For the Christmas dinner they would have 12 different foods to eat. From the 12 different foods a little bit had to be left over, that was the custom, that the family had enough to eat in the coming 12 month of the next year. Only the roasted goose and the Klösse, every one could have as much as they wanted.

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