• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

'Dresden's Christmas traditions are special'

The Local · 17 Dec 2012, 06:57

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!

Story continues below…

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
Ansbach suicide attack
Isis says Syrian bomber in Bavaria one of its 'soldiers'
Photo: DPA

The Syrian asylum seeker who blew himself up outside a music festival in Germany was a "soldier" of the Isis, the jihadist-linked Amaq news agency said on Monday.

Merkel's refugee policy was 'reckless': Left Party leader
Photo: DPA

The attacks carried out by refugees over the past week show accepting large numbers of refugees brings "significant problems", the party's chairwoman said on Monday.

Ansbach suicide attack
What we know about the Ansbach suicide bomber
The attacker's rucksack. Photo: DPA

He had had his asylum application rejected and had twice attempted suicide, say authorities.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach suicide bomber confirms Isis loyalty in video
Police remove evidence from the bombers residence. Photo: DPA

The man who blew himself up in Ansbach, Bavaria, on Sunday evening, injuring 15 people, recorded a video in which he pledged his allegiance to terror group Isis.

Top 10 German firms with the highest-paid employees
Photo: DPA

Want to know which companies shell out the most for salaries?

How will Germany change after string of bloody attacks?
A policeman in Ansbach on Sunday evening. Photo: DPA

Within seven days Germany has been hit by four bloody attacks on innocent people on its streets and in a train. What does this unprecedented string of murders mean for the country?

After attacks, minister rejects blanket suspicion of refugees
Thomas de Maiziere. Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday cautioned Germans against indiscriminately branding all refugees a security threat after a rash of attacks over the last week.

What we know about the Reutlingen knife attack
Police arrest the attacker. Photo: DPA

... and what we don't.

Munich shooting
Police arrest possible accomplice of Munich gunman
Mourners in Munich. Photo: DPA

Authorities in Munich believe that a friend of the teenager who murdered nine people at a Munich shopping centre may have known about his plans.

Ansbach suicide attack
Suicide bomber attacks bar in Bavaria
Photo: DPA

A Syrian migrant set off an explosion at a bar in southern Germany that killed himself and wounded a dozen others late Sunday, authorities said, the third attack to hit Bavaria in a week.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
10,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd