• Germany's news in English
 

'Dresden's Christmas traditions are special'

Published: 17 Dec 2012 06:57 GMT+01:00

Kruner knows the Saxon capital well: not only was she born and brought up in Dresden, she also works as a tour and museum guide with a particular focus the city's cultural heritage.

Click here to see more pictures of Dresden

What's special about a Dresden Christmas?

There are a lot of real local Christmas traditions. It's not like Halloween in Germany, which is imported. Dresden has its own traditions, which have been around for hundreds of years and are really something special.

The decorations and lights are a particularly important tradition. We have these traditional paper lanterns lit up with bulbs inside - every shop has them in the windows at Christmas.

Even walking through a very normal residential area at night is very magical because of all the lights; it's a pleasure just to walk around because people do a lot of individual decoration.

Dresden is famous as the birthplace of the Christmas market. But are they just for tourists these days?

Not at all. I actually went to a Christmas market this afternoon with my kids for them to ride on the carousel. You have to go at least once every Christmas and have a Glühwein and a Bratwurst.

Do you have a favourite one?

I like the Neumarkt around the Frauenkirche best. It has a 19th century theme; all the stall holders wear costumes and sell traditional wares. There are a lot of real craftsmen; there's a goldsmith and a knife-grinder. I personally find the Striezelmarkt - the biggest and oldest market - too big and too crowded. There are just too many people. But the one around the Church is much smaller and calmer. It feels a lot more Christmassy.

Dresden is also famous for its Stollen, the traditional German Christmas cake. Where can you find the best?

You can buy it all over the place, but everyone thinks their own is the best! Many people in Dresden make their own. We use my grandmother's recipe, and prepare our own dough but bring it to the baker for it to be baked in a proper oven - that makes it taste even better.

Do you have any tips for festive music lovers?

I love the Kreuzkirche - it's the oldest church in the city and has the famous boys' choir. We go to hear Bach's Christmas Oratorio every year as a family. But all the big churches have wonderful services.

On Christmas morning at six o'clock there's a nativity play in the Kreuzkirche. The church is always heaving with Dresdeners, even though it's so early in the morning.

Where would you go to warm up out of the cold?

Mulled wine! Or a hot chocolate! Wackerbarth makes the best. Theirs is unusual in that it's made with white wine, not red, which comes from the Wackerbarth vineyard here in Saxony. The wine is then mixed with white grape juice and some secret ingredients - it's totally delicious!

Dresden certainly takes Christmas seriously. What would you do if you wanted a break from it all?

If you wanted to escape from Christmas, you'd have to get right out the city - everywhere is full of people and decorations! You'd have to cross the river and get out into the countryside for a walk.

Lastly, can you tell us something about a Dresden Christmas that only locals know?

Every local has their own Stollen recipe - I wouldn't go giving that away! That's a private secret.

Want your hometown featured on My Germany? Contact us at: news@thelocal.de

Interview conducted by Pippa Wentzel

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:07 December 18, 2012 by chrishale53
...
Today's headlines
Hot weather to bring tornados and lightning
With this blitz Gerry'll get a taste of his own medicine. Photo: DPA

Hot weather to bring tornados and lightning

After Germans were able to sneak out to restock their wurst and sauerkraut rations during few cool hours on Monday, another heat wave is sweeping across the country on Tuesday, sending people running back to the shade for cover. READ  

July heatwave
Hot dogs lap up liver sausage sundaes
Ice-cream maker Leonardo Caprarese with golden retriever Oscar, enjoying a delicious scoop of Leberwurst ice cream. Photo: DPA

Hot dogs lap up liver sausage sundaes

Hounds languishing in the July heat around Bremen have been treated to a very special snack to cool them down - but it's one that might put humans off their lunch. READ  

Berlin growing twice as fast as expected
Population growth is putting strains on city planning. Photo: DPA

Berlin growing twice as fast as expected

The Berlin senate revealed on Monday that the capital is growing at double the pace that city planners had previously expected. But after decades of stagnation the growth is seen as positive. READ  

Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs
Demonstrators outside the Freital refugee home are held back by police on June 26th. Photo: DPA

Anti-refugee rage grows in Dresden suburbs

Freital, the town that became famous last week for irate anti-refugee protestors outside a new home for asylum seekers, saw a fresh confrontation on Monday night as local people gathered for a town hall meeting. READ  

Industrial production stagnates in May
A container ship in the port at Bremerhaven. Photo: DPA

Industrial production stagnates in May

German industrial production stagnated in May, but the overall upward trend remains intact, the economy ministry said on Tuesday. READ  

Greece crisis
Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'
Photo:DPA

Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'

Germany and France on Monday called on Greece to make detailed proposals to revive bailout talks, a day after Greek voters defiantly rejected creditors' demands for further austerity, plunging Europe into crisis. READ  

School hotpants ban sparks online debate
Photo: DPA

School hotpants ban sparks online debate

A school's decision to ban hot pants for girls during the July heatwave has sparked anger online, with feminist activists decrying the decision as sexist. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit
Over 60 percent of Greeks voted 'No' in the referendum. Photo: DPA

Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a eurozone summit on Tuesday to discuss new Greek reform proposals, Greek government sources said. READ  

Students fight for life after chimney plunge
The Düsseldorf Kunstakademie (Academy of Arts). Photo: DPA

Students fight for life after chimney plunge

Two students had to be rescued by fire services after falling 30 metres down a chimney at the the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts on Sunday night. READ  

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home
Zookeeper Isabelle Wallpott with Malor. Photo: DPA

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home

Malor has lived at home with a zookeeper in the Eifel mountains for the last five months. Now the little lion cub is about to be reintroduced to his mother. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,862
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd