Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Posted by May at 11:16 PM
Today marks the first week of Advent. During advent, an 'Advent Kranz' or Advent wreath is kept on the table. It is round or rectangular, made with pine twigs, cones and four candles. Every Sunday upto Christmas, as you gather around the table for a meal, a candle is lit.
That's hubby, enjoying a glass of german beer in the background as we share stories along with our meal..:)
Friday, November 26, 2010
Posted by May at 3:16 PM
Look what I spotted this morning? Snow capped mountains of Lohr!! Does anybody get excited at the first sight of snow or is it just me??
The first shot gave me enough reason to drag myself out of the house with the cam and go for a walk through the market place. For the past week, I have been pretty much feeling like hibernating..:)
I thought I could get a better shot of the mountains, but this was the best I could get. So, I headed back to the town to take shots of the "Tannenbaums" which are the fir or X'mas trees. These trees have been decorated by the kindergarten children from all the surrounding villages of Lohr.
The decorations are handmade, created by the little ones using paper, nuts, wood, pinecones, everything natural.
Every tree has a note describing which Kindergarten decorated the respective tree.
I got to witness a group of excited children decorating the below tree. It brought a huge smile to my face.
We should be getting home our Tannenbaum in two weeks. We cannot wait to get one and begin decorating it. Isn't it strange, whatever your age, at Christmas, you still feel childlike??
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Posted by May at 10:13 AM
This week is special to us. The kids have begun their preparation course for receiving their First Holy Communion, and as part of the preparation, all the kids get to take this blessed candle home for a week. The candle is decorated with the names of all the participating children.
Just like in India, in Germany, receiving one's First Holy Communion is a big and joyous occasion. Only that, the days and preparation leading to the occasion are completely different. We have so much new to learn and am fortunate and thankful to have support from wonderful friends who are ever so eager to help.
We are yet unsure whether the kids will go through the final ceremony here or back home in India(as we have no family here). It is going to be a difficult decision for us. For now, the children are content with this unique experience they are going through.
We intend to light the candle this weekend for our thanksgiving meal...
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Posted by May at 3:33 PM
In a week's time, we begin the season of Advent which in Latin means "coming". It is the time we wait and prepare for the celebration of Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. In Germany, the season of advent is a joyous celebration. Cities, towns and villages, all get ready for this festive season, by lighting and decorating the towns with shimmering lights, green pine trees and colorful baubles. All over Germany, there will be Christmas markets open from the 24th of November till 24th December, though in smaller villages, such markets are open only for a week. A note on Christmas markets will appear shortly on this blog.
For the time being, window shopping is a visual treat.
For more grandeur, all you have to do is step into any shopping mall, sit for some time on a bench and take in the colorful sights....
How are you gearing up for this season in your part of the world? For more, head over to Unknown Mami and see what the rest of the world is upto...
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Posted by May at 8:59 PM
When I returned back to Germany from my home trip in September, I was surprised to see the stores selling X'mas goodies already!!! I thought to myself "People, it is still a 100 days to Christmas!! What's the big hurry???"
So, when last week, the lights were being put up in the market place and the trawlers were carrying X'mas trees around, I thought I need to keep up with the Germans :D
We have a lot of windows to do up, so I got some cuttings from pine trees and yes pinecones!!!! I just love pinecones!! I have collected many during our walks in the forests. When I spotted these huge ones at the market, I knew I had to buy a few. They are big, strong, sturdy and I will make something out of them for X'mas, maybe a wall hanging or so...
If you are to make a collection of artefacts from Germany, then Christmas figurines ought to be in your list. Remember our trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber which has a Christmas Museum and market. I did purchase a few things and now is the time to get them out and display.
A figurine, some pinecones, leaves and a few baubles.... the window is dressed up
I love this figurine which is also a t-light holder. She glows beautifully in the dark
How does this piece of art look?? It is incomplete, but I put it up. This is known as Fensterbilder in Germany, which means, Window Pictures. There are books available to guide you how to go about. I will do a posting on how to make a fensterbilder.
I will have many more postings in the future on things to do for X'mas.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Posted by May at 4:45 PM
Nov 11th is Sankt Martinstag or St. Martin's day. On this day, the streets of Germany are filled with children in procession holding lanterns in their hand, usually behind "St. Martin" in his Roman's soldier uniform and riding a white horse. The cold wintry evening of November is resounded with the children's voices singing to "Ich geh' mit meiner Laterne" translated to "I'm walking with my lantern".
Houses along the path of the procession light the way with candles.
The procession then ends with a Martinsfeuer (bonfire).
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Posted by May at 12:47 PM
That's my schmetterling (butterfly) made by me....:) I finally enrolled myself to a hobby class. I have always been fascinated by glass art. I did dabble with paints on glass back home in India. All I did was to purchase a few books and paints. It turned out to be pretty easy and I did up the house with a few glass painted bottles.
On moving to Germany, the art work with glass intrigued me a lot. You find plenty of such glass figures, t-light holders, decorations in shops sold for quite a price. Every village, town or city in Germany has a Volkshochschule (folk high school). These schools are generally institutions for adult education. Various forms of art are taught in a Volkshochschule. One problem being though, the teaching is in Deutsch. I nevertheless mustered courage and enrolled myself, because by now, I do follow Deutsch but cannot speak.
In our class of 8, we are 7 Germans & me the Indian!!! The classes began and it looked like I was able to follow what was being said. We were told to cut the glass with a cutter(it doesn't actually cut, but makes a mark which then helps you break the glass) and then pull it out with a kind of plier!! Simple, isn't it?? That's what I thought, until I actually had glass and cutter in hand. To my amusement everybody were cutting glass as though they were experts and poor me was struggling away....:D In 15 minutes, I concluded that either my batch mates already knew the hang of it or they were pretty pretty strong (you need to apply a lot of pressure and believe me I was doing it with all the strength I had). Not wanting to give up, I struggled and managed to have the most untidy butterfly of all. But I was glad I was able to do it. It took me 3 hours to complete my masterpiece. It may not be perfect, but it is beautiful to me...:)
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Posted by May at 2:58 PM
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Posted by May at 5:17 PM
The first time I fell in love with the alps was in the month of June. The snow capped mountains took my breath away. The visit of my mother in law gave us enough reason to return to the alps again. Last weekend we were in the capital of the alps, Innsbruck in Austria. We were fortunate to experience snowfall and hence the scenic beauty.
Just the view from the city was not sufficient for us. So, we headed up the mountains by a train(pictured in the photo below). The ride was thrilling what with the train moving at an angle.
The past weekend turned out to be one of the best weekends!! Head over to Unknown Mami to see what everybody has been upto...:)