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6-365: Epiphany

01-06-09 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions |

[Photo shows the inscriptions on our front door]

Today marks the day of epiphany - the day of the Three Kings, the last day of Christmas.

Starsingers come to inscribe the initials of the Three Kings: C+M+B (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar), plus the year over doorways in German-speaking countries to protect house and home. Historically the three letters are supposed to come from the Latin phrase for “Christ bless this house” / “Christus mansionem benedicat”.

In many parts of Europe, including Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the Christmas celebrations do not end until today.



© by Sanni.

341/365: December 6, 2008

12-06-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, Lily, Luis, Nikolaus |
The morning after…

Happy Saint Nicholas Day!

340/365: December 5, 2008

12-05-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, Nikolaus |
Luis and Lily put their boots outside the front door because they hope St. Nicholas will fill the boots with gifts and sweets tonight. Nikolaus (as we say in Germany) will check up on the children to see if they were good, polite and helpful the last year. If they were not, they will have a tree branch (”Rute”) in their boots instead. I’m pretty sure they both will receive sweets and presents.
;-)

328/365: November 23, 2008

11-23-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, weather, world outside my window |

The Sunday before Advent marks “Totensonntag” in the protestant parts of Germany.
We commemorate the beloved persons who died.
This is our church right before the service starts…
… and right after it started to snow.

317/365: November 12, 2008

11-12-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, Lily, Luis |

[Luis and Lily on their way to the lantern procession in honor of St. Martin.]*

St. Martin’s Day is celebrated in the evening of November 11th in Germany. As far as I know Belgium, namely the dutch-speaking Flanders, some parts of the Netherlands and Austria also celebrate on the same day.
There’s a procession where kids hold paper laterns and sing songs about St. Martin.
Often, a man dressed as St. Martin rides on a horse in front of the procession.

Some kids go to houses with their paper lanterns and candles and sing in return for treats.

* We joined the Kindergarten’s St Martin procession which took place today - a day late.
Our “man dressed as St Martin” was a cute girl on a stick horse.
A campfire, “Stutenkerle” (typical kickshaw), lots of kids and fun were involved. We had a blast.

162/365: June 10, 2008

06-10-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, Hamster 2.0 |
Almond Tree

A branch…
…a special branch, belonging to the almond tree we got for Hamster 2.0 today.

For DS - answers to the questions:
*love*

135/365: How much longer until we’re going to leave? Well, that’s a good question. We’re searching for a new home, but didn’t find the “right one” yet. Looks like we’ll have to wait until Hamster 2.0’s birth *g*

152/365: The prizes are awful, but fuel has always been much more expensive in Germany. Okay, 3.93 USDs per gallon still sounds like paradise for us here, but I can relate your feelings b/c I also remember I’ve paid about 2 USDs while I’ve been to the USA some time ago.

153/365: The muffins looked like atomic cupcakes and tasted like heaven… *g*

154/365: That would be a “Z” on a US-International QWERTY layout, but the “Z” is a much more common letter than the “Y” in German - that’s why our keyboards use the so called QUERTZ layout, where the “Z” and “Y” are swapped compared to your keyboard… and a few umlauts are added, too.
My “Y” is still missing, but I’ll post a photo as soon as I got a new one
;-)

159/365:Uhm… well… imagine a dog and a hooman daddy playing with a kong toy… let’s say “somebody” (wasn’t me) throws the kong and it ends up the tree…

55/365: February 24, 2008

02-24-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under German traditions, food |

Ready for dinner?

Today we´re serving “Roulade”, a traditional German main dish. The recipe was graciously given to my by my mommy, Miss Elli, who got it from her mommy, my granny Anni.

Side dishes are mini dumplings (Luis prefers the x-small version) and salad.

Me, I could take a bath in that delicious sauce… oh… the pregnancy *LOL*

6/365: January 06, 2008

01-06-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under Christmas, German traditions |

We celebrate Epiphany today - the day of the Three Kings, the last day of Christmas. Tomorrow we´ll take down our Christmas tree, so I´ve decided to hurry upstairs, snap a last shot and post a bird eye´s view of our Christmas tree in full glory.

Our Christmas tree of the season 2007/2008 is 11.48 feet (3,50m) high, decorated with 450 little lights, 8 garlands and 400+ ornaments and christmas tree balls.

I´m definitely NOT looking forward to take the tree down and repack these tons of decorations *g*

5/365: January 05, 2008

01-05-08 | Snapped by Sanni | Filed under Christmas, German traditions |

Tomorrow marks Epiphany - the end of Christmas. The Greek word “Epiphanias” means “uprise, appearance”, i.e. appearance of the Lord which was celebrated in the early Christian centuries on January 6. In the 4th century this holiday was shifted to December 25, and January 6 obtained the name of The Three Kings (the “Wise Men,” the Magi), or simply Twelfth Day. According to an old legend based on a Bible story, these three kings saw, on the night when Christ was born, a bright star, followed it to Bethlehem and found there the Christchild and presented it with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

To this day, the doorways would be sprinkled with holy water and the initials of the Three Kings — C+M+B (Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) — plus the year are inscribed in chalk over doorways in German-speaking countries on the eve of January 6 to protect house and home. (Although historically the three letters are supposed to come from the Latin phrase for “Christ bless this house” — “Christus mansionem benedicat” — few of the people practicing this custom are aware of this fact. In many parts of Europe, including Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, the Christmas celebration does not end until this date, now considered the arrival of the three “kings of the orient” in Bethlehem — and the end of the “twelve days of Christmas” between Christmas and January 6.

The custom of the Star Singers, reminiscent of the travel of the Three Kings is still very much alive in Bavaria and Austria. Beginning with New Years and through January 6, children dressed as the kings, and holding up a large star, go from door to door, caroling and singing a Three Kings’ song. For this they receive cookies, sweets or money. Formerly the collected donations went to unemployed craftsmen and veterans, today they go to charities of the church or the Third World.

January 6, the day of the Three Kings, the last day of Christmas, comes with its own traditions, rituals and symbols. Carolers are going from house to house; in many homes the Christmas tree is taken down and in some areas is burnt in a big bonfire. For the children this is an especially joyous occasion because, associated with taking down the tree goes the “plündern” (raiding) of the tree. The sweets, chocolate ornaments wrapped in foil or cookies, which have replaced the sugar plums, are the raiders’ rewards.

Our Star Singers where early birds - our home got blessed today:



Merci



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