• Germany edition
 
My Germany - Dresden
'Dresden's Christmas traditions are special'
Photo: Pippa Wentzel

'Dresden's Christmas traditions are special'

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

Get The Local flavour of Germany with our new series offering an insider's take on their hometown. Friederike Kruner kicks things off talking about Dresden at Christmas time.

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

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:07 December 18, 2012 by chrishale53
...
Today's headlines
Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

A major producer of ethically certified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free-range. But the regulator said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

Op-Ed
Why Germany should stop arming the world
Saudi Arabia wants to buy 800 German Leopard 2 tanks. Photo: DPA

Why Germany should stop arming the world

Germany's weapons industry is booming, and even the vice chancellor's attempt to stop selling tanks to the Saudis is a minor concession for the world's third biggest arms exporter. But the trade is destabilizing security. READ () »

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin

An exhibition opened in Berlin last week of rare colour photos from World War I. Haunting images of soldiers in trenches take centre stage in the collection. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

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

3,109
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd