It seemed wrong to post part 2 of my Great Depression blog today, so I’ll hold off on that until January. Just what we need, depression in the midst of January cold.
Many of our Christmas Traditions originated in Germany. The Christmas tree was popularized by Queen Victoria but only because she was German and her family brought it with them when they took over the English throne.
So as they say in Germany, Weihnachten!
- “Silent Night” was composed in Austria in 1818.
- An Advent wreath, or Adventskranz. Some say it was established in Germany as a Christian custom in the 16th century, and others that it wasn’t invented until the 19th century. If you go by this, credit Johann Hinrich Wichern (1808-1881), a Protestant pastor in Germany and a pioneer in urban mission work among the poor.
- Kris Kringle is a corruption Christkindl (“Christ Child”) and is a winged figure dressed in white robes and a golden crown who distributes gifts.
- Christmas tree pastry, Christbaumgeback, is a white dough that can be molded into shapes and baked for tree decorations.
- German-American Thomas Nast (1840-1902) who gave us the modern image of Santa Claus (and the animal symbols for both the American Democratic and Republican parties!) in the 1860s.
- The day after Christmas Day — der zweite Weihnachtstag, known as Boxing Day in Britain
Merry Christmas to my fellow Victorians! And for more Traditions, check out the History Channel site: here.