• 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
Jobtalk Germany
Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?
Robots are set to wipe out large sectors of the work force. Photo:DPA

Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?

A study commissioned by ING-Diba claims that 59 percent of Germany's work force could be replaced by machines and software in the coming decades. The impact on German society is set to be radical. READ  

Merkel defends BND against criticism
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Merkel defends BND against criticism

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the German intelligence agency (BND) on Monday amid growing criticism of her knowledge of the agency's activities from within her own government. READ  

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay
Photo: DPA

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay

The average hourly private sector pay in Germany increased slightly between 2013 and 2014, but the rate still lagged behind that in most of Germany’s neighbour states, according to data released on Monday. READ  

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike
Photo: DPA

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike

German train drivers found themselves under fire from industry and the government on Monday after announcing their longest walkout in the history of rail operator Deutsche Bahn. READ  

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes
A stash of cocaine found in an Aldi banana box last year. Police discovered more hidden narcotics in banana boxes on Monday. Photo: DPA.

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes

More than 300 kilograms of cocaine worth €15 million were discovered in Berlin-area Aldi supermarkets, hidden in cases of bananas, police reported on Monday. READ  

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme
Demonstrators against the Max Planck Institute. Photo: DPA

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme

After graphic pictures emerged of distressed and unconscious monkeys bleeding from the head at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, the world-renowned research centre announced on Sunday that it will close its primate research programme. READ  

A third of parents OK with smacking children

A third of parents OK with smacking children

About one third of German parents think an 'Ohrfeige', or smack across the head, is an appropriate part of child-rearing, according to an RTL survey released on Sunday. READ  

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany
A man suspected of having Ebola has been brought to the Uni Klinik in Düsseldorf. Photo: DPA.

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany

A man in Bochum was taken to hospital on Sunday evening under tight security controls after it was suspected that he was infected with the Ebola virus. READ  

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany
The Night Wolves have reached Germany. Photo: DPA

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany

Ten pro-Kremlin Russian bikers, part of a larger group on a controversial World War II victory ride through Europe, reached the German border late Sunday, the Bavarian authorities said. READ  

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation
Merkel laying a wreath at Dachau. Photo: DPA

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau on Sunday for a solemn ceremony to mark 70 years since it was liberated by US forces. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
Pupils mourn lost classmates
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
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

7,156
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>