What’s a Räuchermann?

“Räuchermann” translates to “smoking manikin” or “incense smoker” and – just like the Schwibbogen – is a famous part of German Christmas decorations. It also has its origins in the Ore Mountains, although its tradition is younger than the one of Schwibbögen: Räuchermänner (plural) – or, in the Ore Mountain dialect, “Raachermannel” – were first mentioned in 1850. The small wooden figurines, which are elaborately designed, crafted and also often painted by hand, are hollow on the inside. A cone of incense (“Räucherkerze”) is lighted and then set into the hollowed out part. From there, the smoke travels through the […]

What’s a „Schwibbogen“?
Discover the history on our excursion!

Every year, during the Advent time, decorative candle-holders appear in people’s windows. The so called “Schwibbogen” (“flying buttress”) is a tradition that has its origin in the Ore Mountains and it wasn’t directly connected to Christmas at first. Initially, the Schwibbögen were made of metal and put onto the windowsill to guide the minders home during the darker seasons. Even today, although the mines are mostly used for touristic purposes now, the Schwibbögen can be seen in almost every window in the Ore Mountain region. The word “Schwibbogen” comes from “Schwebebogen” (“floating arch”) which describes an architectural element that looks […]

Non-working Buß und Bettag, but only in Saxony!

Public holidays in Germany are not determined at a national level. Each of the 16 federal states is in charge of making its own decisions when it comes to allowing workers to stay home. In contrast to all of the other 15 states in Germany, here in Saxony you are officially not going to work on the Wednesday, 22 November, and here is why you don’t have to get up early: The German Buß- und Bettag stands for the day of repentance and prayer and has its origins in the very human nature of searching for divine intervention during times […]

“MOVE IT!”?
Go and watch it!

Once the last summer days have passed and the nights become longer – and the weather not as nice – it’s the perfect time to enjoy good movies. For us, a good movie should be entertaining, but it should also provide something to think about. Do you agree? Great, then we’d like to introduce you to the “MOVE IT! Filmfestival”. The festival The festival’s focus is what makes it so special: Since 2004, the latest national and international documentary and feature films relating to topics of human rights and development are shown. It was founded by Akifra e.V., an organization […]

Reformation Day

31 October: This day is a religious holiday celebrated by Protestants – usually alongside Halloween. It’s a holiday commemorating Martin Luther who – as it is widely believed – nailed 95 theses on the door of the All Saints’ Church in Wittenberg on 31 October 1517. With these theses, he demanded the reformation of the church – and laid the ground stone for the Protestant religion. This year is the 500th anniversary Usually, this holiday is not celebrated annually by all German federal states. This year, in celebration of the 500th anniversary, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Hessen, Niedersachsen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, […]

Day of German Unity
Tag der Deutschen Einheit

The third of October, which will be a Tuesday this year, is a very emotional day for every German because it brings them back to the years 1989/90 and how Germany was reunited again after 40 years of living in two separate countries. After the second World War, Germany was divided into four military sectors , which were controlled each by the United Kingdom, The Soviet Union, France and the United States. In 1949 the free western sectors united and the Federal Republic of Germany was founded. In the same year the eastern sector was transformed in the German Democratic […]