Happy Second Advent…Tired Of All The Christmas Tackiness? A Video Of Christmas In Germany…

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When it comes to Christmas, you have to hand it to the Germans. No one celebrates it like they do.

Many of the old Christmas traditions we so very much cherish today originate in Germany. Here’s a video of Christmas market activity. (Don’t worry, it’s not superimposed with “Last Christmas” by Wham).

Perhaps a few of the ex-British forces stationed near Osnabruck will relate to the images. The footage was taken at the downtown Osnabruck Christmas market, which is only a short drive away from my house. The singing, of course is in German.

It is easy to get sidetracked by all the commerce and kitsch. One could easily argue that it is the pursuit of the things that we were taught would make us happy is in fact precisely what makes many among us miserable.

Have a nice 2nd Advent!

 

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11 responses to “Happy Second Advent…Tired Of All The Christmas Tackiness? A Video Of Christmas In Germany…”

  1. DirkH

    EU still mightily miffed by Putin. So Gauck boycots Sotchi. Because Human Rights. (Hint, Human == HOMO sapiens, get it?)
    http://www.bild.de/bildlive/2013/08-gauck-olympia-33763046.bild.html
    Now I’m eager to see Gauck travel to Qatar and praise the quality of their slave barracks.

  2. Alfred Alexander

    Thank you! I spent three Christmas Days in Germany.
    55, 56, 57. Had a good time.

  3. Mike Heath

    I lived in Hamburg for several years and visited the markets every year many times. Down Mönkebergstrasse to the Rathaus Markt, Santa flies overhead with a lovely counterbalancing angel hanging under the sleigh.

    All the small dorfs have smaller markets, some with ice rinks for a month. The food and atmosphere are quite special, and the crowds mean that whilst your feet freeze, you body is too hot.

    There is a model train that goes round and round above the heads of the visitors between the stalls, something to watch whilst drinking the laced gluwein.

    Then there is the nativity scene, nicely sitauted for everyone to see at the end of the market, just behind the Christmas store where doorkeepers control the flow of people in and out.

    Often I have stopped at the large wooden nativity scene and considered why it is there at all. No one else looked at it whilst I was there, and I wondered what people actually thought if they ever did look at it.

    Perhaps they would see the lovely wood carvings, or the arrangement of lights. It could be that they would see the poverty, and wonder how it would be to give birth in a stable or have to lay a baby in an animal eating trough – no emergency service, no oxygen, no cesareans, and no pain killers! Some might question the point of the story, assuming it was true, what was the point? then they would once again disappear into the pleasant aroma and annonymity of the crowd.

    Advent, so ignored in the UK but so important in Sweden and Germany, marks a time of Christian celebration. Not that the 25th is Christian in any way, we all know it was chosen to bridge two pagan festivals, but Advent is about the Advent. In general Advent means “The coming or arrival, especially of something extremely important”. Christians are united in the beleif that Jesus was the extremely important arrival, but they are not united in the reasons for Him coming.

    For those who beleive that He came, sometime around 2000 years ago, it is worth asking the question why? Was it an accident in time or was it planned from eternity? Was he just a good man with some wise sayings (wise enough to be killed for- not wise enough to keep quiet) or was he God in the flesh? Was he born to die or was he misunderstood and suffered as a martyr for speaking the truth?

    Most importnantly, does His birth and death have any meaning for the annoymous individual such as you and I?

    1. Alfred Alexander

      Thank you Mike for such good Words.
      He came to take my place!

      Alfred

  4. Chris Frey

    dear Pierre (and commentator Mike Heath),

    thanks for this beautiful article! You are right, here in Germany, Christmas is a time of dreaming, particularly for children. As I volunteer a lot with children age 3 to 10, I take part of these dreams. The German word “kitsch” ist part of this. Pierre, is there an English translation for it? In German, this word has a slightly negative taste, but I don’t agree at all with this. When I visit a Christmas Market with a couple of kids – just look in their faces, what “kitsch” will do! Sometimes, I admit, my eyes get wet when I see children dreaming in front of a beautiful enlighted shopping window – or the Christmas songs – or…

    Why don’t we all become kids again – at least during the Holy Night? For me, celebrating the Holy Night is a symbol of joy for every child that is born! It is His birthday, isn’t it?

    Best regards, and merry Christmas! Enjoy it like little Children (capital on purpose!)

    Chris Frey

  5. TimiBoy

    I did Markets all over Germany in Christmas 2008/9. Wonderful (but bloody cold, you can keep that!!!)

    We had the Rellies over to Brisbane last month (from Karlsruhe) and they’re saying that much of the celebration has to be kept off the streets now in Berlin to avoid upsetting certain people. Is there any truth to this?

    1. DirkH

      “We had the Rellies over to Brisbane last month (from Karlsruhe) and they’re saying that much of the celebration has to be kept off the streets now in Berlin to avoid upsetting certain people. Is there any truth to this?”

      Surely in the districts of Kreuzberg and Neu-Kölln. AFAIK using the word “Weihnachten” has been prohibited there by the Red-Red-Green government. The politically desired designation is “Festtagsmarkt” or something, Festivus basically.
      The few Germans that live in Kreuzberg are atheist/buddhist Greens like this one:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Holofernes
      She criticizes Western culture, capitalism and work in her songs while raking in the dough. Unfortunately she can’t send her son to a Kreuzberg school as he would be the only German kid. She does not want to leave Kreuzberg and can’t imagine anywhere else. I am not making this up.

  6. Mindert Eiting

    Also a happy Advent to you, Pierre. The Advent sundays belong to the Ecclesiastical year, a peculiar rubber time scale with Christmas as fixed point and Eastern depending on the moon. This scale is still with us because Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his cantatas for this year. His music enjoys an enormous popularity in the Netherlands. I know his cantatas are performed faithfully in Berlin but I do not know much of the rest of Germany.

    1. JP

      Although an non-believer, I have always held much respect for the tradition of Imago Viva Dei, man as the living image of God: if God is Creator, and we are in his image, then we are ourselves are Creators. This image has been the driving force for much that has been good in the Western tradition, including, of course, the science of Kepler and Leibiniz, and the music of Bach, among many others.

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