Christmas Markets: Watch Out for Weak Glühwein

Christmas Markets: Watch Out for Weak Glühwein

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 09, 2013

Mulled wine is a staple of German Christmas markets, but experts warn that consumers should beware of poor quality. Overcooking the beverage was found to have reduced alcohol content and flavor in more than one in ten mugs in Berlin. more...

Tacky Funfairs: Are Christmas Markets Losing Tradition?

Tacky Funfairs: Are Christmas Markets Losing Tradition?

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 20, 2013

Purists warn that German Christmas markets are at risk of turning into something more akin to amusement parks, with rides and an atmosphere that violate their heritage. But a leading expert says the tradition is safe -- at least in western Germany. By David Crossland more... Comment ]

Meaty Christmas: Classic Holiday Cake Gets Veal Version

Meaty Christmas: Classic Holiday Cake Gets Veal Version

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 20, 2013

Throwing tradition to the wind, a German butcher shop has reinvented the country's beloved Christmas fruit cake known as Stollen. Instead of using flour, they opted for veal. more... Comment ]

Monoculture for the Holidays: Christmas Trees Replace Forests as Crop of Choice

Monoculture for the Holidays: Christmas Trees Replace Forests as Crop of Choice

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 18, 2012

Environmental campaigners in Germany are up in arms because increasing areas of woodland are being switched to the cultivation of Christmas trees, which is far more lucrative than normal forests. Now a state government wants to limit the trend despite accusations that it is axing a centuries-old tradition. By Barbara Schmid and Fidelius Schmid more...

Tis The Season to Be Merry: Naked Man Causes Havoc After Christmas Party

Tis The Season to Be Merry: Naked Man Causes Havoc After Christmas Party

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 17, 2012

A man got so merry at a Christmas party that he took his clothes off on his way home and ran naked through a German town early on Saturday morning in freezing temperatures, causing 30,000 euros worth of damage, police said. more...

Endangered Christmas Tradition: Birthplace of the Nutcracker Seeks New Recruits

Endangered Christmas Tradition: Birthplace of the Nutcracker Seeks New Recruits

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 29, 2012

The proud artisans of Seiffen gave the world the nutcracker and are determined to keep their centuries-old craft alive. The Christmas industry in the Ore Mountains of Germany has survived economic crises, wars, communism and a wave of Chinese replicas -- but is now at risk from a lack of young apprentices. By David Crossland in Seiffen, Ore Mountains more...

Sparking the Holiday Spirit: German Christmas Markets Open for 2012 Season

Sparking the Holiday Spirit: German Christmas Markets Open for 2012 Season

SPIEGEL ONLINE - November 27, 2012

Between 3 billion and 5 billion euros are spent each year at Germany's traditional Christmas markets, which date back to the Middle Ages. But business aside, 'tis the season to be jolly -- and out in the cold clutching a hot cup of mulled wine. more...

Terrifying Traditions: Ghastly Winter Demons Run Wild in the Alps

Terrifying Traditions: Ghastly Winter Demons Run Wild in the Alps

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 26, 2012

Halloween spooks are for wimps compared to the grisly Christmastime traditions of Europe's Alps, where demonic creatures come out to punish naughty children or to drive winter away each year. A gorgeous new photography book explores the many guises of these wild monsters, whose traditional rumpus harkens back to pagan rites. By Stephan Orth more...

The Taste of Trees: At German Zoos, Christmas Comes in January

The Taste of Trees: At German Zoos, Christmas Comes in January

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 13, 2012

For many German zoos, a high point of the animal year is the arrival of discarded Christmas trees. Thousands are fed to elephants, camels, polar bears and a variety of other animals. The trees are rich in Vitamin C and other healthy properties. However, the tradition is threatened at some zoos because of the use of chemicals to make trees last longer. By Alex Macbeth in Berlin more... Comment ]

Explaining Christmas: Nuremberg Tries Luring Chinese Tourists to Market

Explaining Christmas: Nuremberg Tries Luring Chinese Tourists to Market

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 20, 2011

In its efforts to increase tourism, the city of Nuremberg, home to the world-famous Christkindlesmarkt, is seeking to attract more visitors from China. But a recent visit by Chinese guests to the market demonstrated how challenging it can be to pitch the holiday to guests from Shanghai or Beijing.   By Nora Gantenbrink more... Comment ]