What's on in Germany: December 20 – January 2
This Fortnight's Highlights: Nefertiti in Berlin, “Winter Lights” in Frankfurt, a Christmas Carol in Munich, and a New Years Eve celebrations everywhere.
Princess Garden Cultural Winter Market and Circus
A few years ago, some green-thumbed Berliners turned a patch of land in Kreuzberg into a wonderful neighbourhood garden. Each year, before the raised beds get ready for their long winter slumber, the garden becomes an enchanted holiday time oasis. Check out the LPG Biomarkt-sponsored event this week (through December 23) when vaudeville actors and acrobats spin and flip in the circus tent and mulled wine keeps icy fingers warm.
Price: Free; €4-10 for circus and vaudeville shows
Location: Prinzessinengärten, Moritzplatz
Times: Thursday, 4-8pm; Friday, 2-8pm; Saturday and Sunday, Noon-8pm; through December 23
Show Reservations: 0177 612 7772
More Information: www.prinzessinnengarten.net
In the Light of Amarna - 100 Years of the Find of Nefertiti
One hundred years ago archaeologists discovered the beautiful bust of Nefertiti. The head of the graceful queen quickly became one of the most treasured ancient Egyptian artifacts ever unearthed. The Neues Museum is celebrating that special event with a new exhibition about the town where Nefertiti and her husband Pharaoh Akhenaten ruled. Take a tour and discover what life was like in 14th century BC Egypt. The kids may be home from school but that doesn't mean the history lessons have to stop.
Location: Neues Museum, Bodestrasse 1-3
Times: Monday – Saturday, 10am-6pm; Thursday, 10am-8pm; through April 13, 2013
Phone: 030 266 42 42 42
More Information: www.smb.museum
Louis Lewandowski Festival
“Love Makes the Melody Immortal” reads the gravestone of 19th century composer Louis Lewandowski. As choirmaster of the Berlin Synagogue he revolutionized synagogue music by writing new arrangements of ancient Hebrew melodies. This week, choirs from Paris, Warsaw, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, and Strasbourg sing Lewandowski's sacred songs at a new festival dedicated to the maestro.
Times: Friday, December 21 – Sunday, December 23
More Information: www.louis-lewandowski-festival.de
Postcards From Japan
After the devastation that ravaged the Tohoku region of Japan last year had settled down a bit, survivors sent messages to loved ones on postcards. Inspired by this simple act to create art again, twenty-two artists from the region made a series of moving postcards that incorporates themes of nature, community, remembrance, and renewal. Take some time to contemplate their messages at an exhibition at the Japan Foundation in Cologne. And while you're there, think about signing up for a Japanese language course, or join the origami club – unique additions to your list of New Year's resolutions.
Location: Japanisches Kulturinstitut (The Japan Foundation), Universitätsstrasse 98
Times: Monday – Friday, 9am-1pm and 2pm-5pm; Saturday, 10am-5pm; through January 16, 2012 (December 24, 9am-Noon; Closed December 29 – January 3)
Phone: 02 21/94 05 580
More Information: www.jki.de
Simon Evans and Oyvind Fahlstrom – First We Make the Rules, Then We Break the Rules
The English artist Simon Evans helps himself get a better grasp of his own identity by creating make-believe maps. Why not compose your own reality? Put your own spin on the way things work? He drew a version of the Paris metro map and made a diagram depicting the “Symptoms of Loneliness” for an exhibition of his work shown alongside pieces by the late Swedish artist Oyvind Fahlstrom. Go see the colorful hand drawn charts and illustrations at Kunsthalle Dusseldorf. Thursday, December 27 is free from 6 p.m. To 8 p.m.
Location: Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, Grabbeplatz 4
Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am-6pm; Thursday, December 27, 11am-8pm; through February 17, 2013
Phone: 0211 89 962 40
More Information: www.kunsthalle-duesseldorf.de
Palmen Garten Winter Light
The light artist Wolfgang Flammersfeld transformed Frankfurt's Palmen Garten into a twinkling oasis of holiday splendour. Take a walk around the botanical garden's enchanting grounds, warm up with some tasty food and drink, and then catch the evening reading of a Brothers Grimm fairytale in the Rose House.
Price: €5 (Adults); €2 (Children)
Location: Palmengarten, Siesmayerstrasse 61
Times: Sunday – Thursday, 5-8pm; Friday and Saturday, 5-10pm; Christmas Eve, 9am-3pm; New Year's Eve, 9am-4pm; through January 6, 2013
Phone: 069 212 3 66 89
More Information: www.palmengarten.de
Silvester at the Stadtgarten
One of Frankfurt's most delightful venues is hosting a big bash on New Year's Eve. Head to Stadtgarden on the last night of the year for a musically diverse dance floor featuring everything from house to hip hop, and reggae to rock. A buffet dinner gets growling tummys satiated at suppertime, while fireworks light up the beer garden at midnight. Let the countdown begin!
Price: €17 (Party); €85 (Buffet and Party)
Location: Stadtgarten, Venloer Strasse 40
Times: Monday, December 31, 7:30pm (Dinner); 11pm (Party)
Phone: 0221 952 9940
More Information: www.stadtgarten.de
World Transition Party
“It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.” That's because the end of the world, which happens Friday, according to the Mayan calendar, isn't going to be an apocalyptic destruction, but rather a transition, a renewal if you will, as an old era ends and a new one begins. Now that's reason to party. Hamburg's Ethnology Museum closes its “Heart of the Maya” exhibition with a festive program of sacred dances and powerful rituals and a feast of Latin American dishes on Friday.
Location: Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg, Rothenbaumchaussee 64
Times: Friday, December 21, 6pm
More Information: www.voelkerkundemuseum.com
Hannover Winter Zoo
The polar bears have decked the halls at their house. Even the tigers are celebrating their winter-ful snow-covered dens. With twinkling fairy lights strung over a village pond turned ice skating rink, and toboggans zooming down icy trails, the Hannover Zoo offers loads of family-friendly fun. Go December 22 and 23 to meet St. Nicholas.
Price: €16 (Adults); €13 (Ages 6 – 17); €10 (Ages 3-5); Discounted admission after 2pm
Location: Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover, Adenauerallee 3
Times: Monday – Friday, Noon-7pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10:30am-7pm
Phone: 0511 280 74 163
More Information: www.zoo-hannover.de
In the Beginning Was the Dance - Baroque New Year
Beneath a heavenly ceiling fresco and a sparkling chandelier, a palace theatre fills with the music of 18th century Italy. Excerpts from operas and ballets by Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, Biagio Marini, and their contemporaries drifts from a historic stage, mingling with the rococo elements of a dazzling theatre. Start your New Year's celebrations early and experience this sensational atmosphere Saturday night in Heidelberg.
Price: €18 – 41
Location: Schloss Schwetzingen, Schwetzingen
Times: Saturday, December 29, 7:30pm
Tickets: 06221 5820 000
More Information: www.theaterheidelberg.de
Two Lives for Photography - Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel
One of New York's most legendary artist couples, Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel gave fashion photography a revolutionary spin over the course of their long careers. A new exhibition at the Grassi Museum presents nearly five hundred of their photographs including innovative fashion shoots for Dior and Vogue, and Himmel's “moving” images of the New York City Ballet. Start the year off by getting inspired by extraordinary 20th century photography. The first Wednesday of the month is free.
Location: Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Johannisplatz 5-11
Times: Tuesday – Sunday, 10am-6pm; through March 3, 2013 (Closed Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve)
Phone: 0341 22 29 100
More Information: www.grassimuseum.de
A Christmas Carol
The Charles Dickens Christmas classic never gets old. If you've been feeling like a little Scrooge lately, find yourself a seat in the audience at the Amerika Haus as soon as possible. The American Drama Group Europe's Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, will shoot you up with a healthy dose of Christmas spirit. Four more performances take place before the big day.
Location: Amerika Haus München, Karolinenplatz 3
Times: Thursday, December 20, 11am and 7:30pm; Friday, December 21, 9am and 7:30pm
Tickets: 089 54818181
More Information: www.adg-europe.com
English Language Movies at the Deutsche Film Institute
Treat yourself to a nice long two hours of cinematic escapism this holiday season. From The Sound of Music and The Hunchback of Notre Dame to Annie Hall and The Hours, the Deutsche Film Institute is screening a selection of film favorites as part of their series “And the Oscar goes to... - The Best Films of the Last 85 Years.” Brush up on your Von Trapp Family tunes and Woody Allen lines.
Location: Kino im Deutschen Filmmuseum, Schaumainkai 41
Phone: 069 961 220 220
More Information: www.deutsches-filminstitut.de
Kick off 2013 in grand style and go to the opera. The Bavarian State Opera is staging the Verdi masterpiece Aida on New Year's Day. With themes of love and power, and characters that include an Ethiopian princess and an Egyptian warrior, the legendary opera will have both opera veterans and opera novices enthralled.
Price: €11.50 – 133.50
Location: Nationaltheater, Max-Joseph-Platz 2
Times: Tuesday, January 1, 6pm
Phone: 089 21 85 01
More Information: www.bayerische.staatsoper.de
Octopus Advent at Sea Life
Octopuses are an intelligent breed. Drive up to the Baltic Sea coast and see for yourself. Sea Life, an aquarium in the north German town of Timmendorf Beach, is home to an intriguing attraction – an advent calendar for an octopus. Every day until December 23, Franz the Octopus pries open a new box. It's a fun game for Franz, but it's also a raffle for visitors. Go and take a stroll through the Octopus Garden and watch the Advent activity transpire. You could be the winner of a fishy surprise.
Price: €14.95 (Adults); €10.95 (Ages 3-14)
Location: Sea Life, Kurpromenade 5
Times: Daily at 2:30pm through December 23 (Advent Calendar); Daily, 10am-5pm (Regular Hours)
Phone: 04503 35 88 0
More Information: www.visitsealife.com