Saturday, 20 December 2008

The Nürnberg Christmas Market



The best star on the stand this year!

19th December, Nürnberg, 2008

My favourite day in the run-up to Christmas.

Six Sternstunden

It was lovely to have the Christmas market to look forward to on my return to Germany, and by selling handmade stars for charity I rediscovered my soul that I feared I had left behind in Norway.

I actually realised I had my soul back while I was walking the ten-minute walk from the market place to my flat, at midnight when the others had to get on to trams and into cars to drive home.
I think that it had actually been returning all evening with all the special experiences of meeting generous people and being with my colleagues for six hours. There had been children emptying their purses to the last Cent and adults to the last Euro. Teenagers giving all except the bus-fare home and one especially memorable young man who blessed us all and walked away as pleased with the experience and his star as we were.

I have mentioned the market and this stand in a previous posting, in November, the day that I work there being one of my favourite days in Advent. The stars are all made by children in kindergartens and schools, and are sold in Nürnberg. Throughout the Advent time the local TV station shows where the money is used, and advertise other Sternstunde fund-raising events.
Last year the charity that I do a lot of work with opened an integrated crèche and was given 2000 Euros from Sternstunde for equipment.

The star stand is actually one of very few stands on this Christmas market selling hand-crafted objects. Many of the others are offering glittery Christmas decorations, traditional wooden decorations (the more expensive ones are probably handmade), many food stalls with traditional fare such as fruit cake and painted gingerbread biscuits and hearts, boiled sweet corn and of course the usual sausages in rolls, and Gluhwein.

Zwetschgenmännle

There is an abundance of stands selling handmade Zwetschgenmännle. These colourful figures are made from dried fruits and nuts and are dressed in a range of uniforms or Trachten. These are completely edible but because they are so beautiful I doubt whether anyone ever eats them. I watched two very young boys discussing with their grandmother which one they would buy and which had the nicest face. Checking out the faces is the most important thing to consider when buying, as each hand-painted face has a very different expression, which is mainly in the eyes.

Transported back to Hamar

While wandering around the huge Nürnberg market I was transported back to Hamar, to its first Christmas market, that I visited for the opening. I was once more reminded of the very traditional Christmas that they were preparing for, and I was glad to be warmed by the alpaca shawl that I had bought there as a present to myself.

Nourishing the Seele with bits-in-between

Now I have to get dressed up in my bike gear go shopping and find a Christmas tree to carry back in the trailer.

Afterwards I need to make my Christmas cards and compose a Christmas letter. It is time for lots of bits-in-between to feed the conductive Seele and to regain some energy before the 26th December when I begin with conductive upbringing once more.


Notes



Six Sternstunden – I mean “six star filled hours”

Sternstunde - a charity in Bavaria selling stars for donations on the Nürnberg christams market: http://www.bayernlb.de/internet/en/meta/BayernLB/gesell/sternstu/sternstu.html

Gluhwein – mulled wine

Zwetschgenmännle – small figures created from dried fruit and nuts, dressed in uniforms such as nurses and postmen, as footballers musicians, gnomes, and elderly couples on a bench.

Trachten – traditional German costume.

Seele - soul

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