Christmas in the Erzgebirge, "the Ore Mountains, is filled with lots of traditions. The wooden art and the Christmas markets are two reasons why the region is also called the „home of Christmas“ in Germany. Another important part of a Erzgebirge Christmas are the Miner’s parades, the so-called Bergparaden." In the following days I'll show some pictures of this lovely season in the Erzgebirge I visited last week.
The houses are often decorated with the 'Herrnhuter Stern", the Moravian Star (pic on the left), and behind the windows you see the so-called 'Schwibbögen' (Christmas arches, pic on the right) with their candles and lamps (now LED -lights). The streets in the towns and villages are illuminated in this way which gives them a homely, warm atmosphere.
"During the 18th century, many Erzgebirge miners would hang their pit lamps on the entry holes on the last working shift before Christmas. This started what is now the tradition of using Schwibbogen arches in Christmas décor. The earlier light hanging was a representation of the miners who would wish for the light that they did not have during their long work days. Most of the Schwibbogen from the earlier years were made with iron. Wood became a popular design for candle arches in the Erzgebirge, Black Forest region due to the bountifulness of wood. During the 20th century, most candle arch designs were produced using wood as the main material.
The light arches that we see today often depict religious scenes such as the nativity scene, Christmas carolers and churches. There are also beautiful arches that represent nature with forests and wild animals or local scenes from the Seiffen region such as the local Christmas fair, the Seiffen Church or various towns in the Erzgebirge region. These light arches are illuminated by candlelight or by electricity."
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