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How did the tradition of carving Christmas decorations start in Germany?

August 28, 2018

How did the tradition of carving Christmas decorations start in Germany?

 

Once upon a time in a tiny mountain village…
 
Actually, it was more than one tiny village. The Erzgebirge mountain range in Germany sits on the border of the Czech Republic. If you go back in time, long before the brothers Grimm wrote fairy tales, this region was famous for its mining. Everything from Silver to Cobalt to Uranium (yes, long before Einstein and the cold war, it was used to colour glass).


 

Now miners (at least in my mind) are somewhat crafty people and, of an evening, it was customary for miners to carve another abundant resource in the forest-covered Erzgebirge. Wood.


 

And so a tradition was born. Ultimately, empires would come and go over hundreds of years, precious metals and the mining industry would boom and bust but one thing remained constant, the tradition of crafting wooden figures and decorations as a family and as a community.



No one loves Christmas more than a German and it is wonderful to see just how prized a genuine German-made decoration still is. Families have kept their artisan traditions alive across the generations and they are as strong as ever today. The mines might be closed these days but communities thrive, fashioning Christmas magic in their time-honoured way.

It brings us great joy to spread some of their Christmas magic across Australia.