In Heidelberg there are angels, dressed in white and gold. They accompany the Christ Child, who traditionally comes to the ecumenical church service in the big market place to open the Christmas market in Heidelberg.
Especially in southern Germany it is the Christ child and not Santa Claus who brings the Christmas presents to the children. Usually the "child" is a tall blond with angelic curls and golden dress. Originally, children in the 16th and 17th Century would have to recite their Chatechism in order to receive a present. I think this custom was later changed into a less religious ritual of reciting poems and singing a song, a performance which is still practised in some places. I also find it highly interesting that the figure of the Christ Child as a gift giver appears mainly in Catholic areas particularly in Southern Germany, as it is supposedly Martin Luther who made this figure popular. In Protestant northern Germany, it is the ‘Christmas Man’ (aka St. Nicolaus or Santa Clause) who arrives on Christmas Eve. But perhaps because there are so many good children in southern Germany, that Santa Claus has to help out in the cooler northern part of the country. This work arrangement means that our little ones do not go empty-handed at Christmas.
In my illustration from 'Heidelberg wimmelt' there is an additional angel,dressed in everyday clothes. It is a young girl pictured with her very special violin. I got to know Leena Harim at the marketplace where I sketched people for my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg wimmelt'. She told me about her violin, which is about 250 years old and later even sent me a photo of the it. The instrument has a wonderful deep color, like cognac, which glimmers in the light. I am sure that a girl with such a beautiful, historic violin plays melodies like an angel. I am sure that a girl with such a beautiful, historic violin plays melodies like an angel. Music is not just a gift of talent, it is also a present to the fortunate ones who listen.
Solution to the Wimmelsuchtipp of the week 24 Wimmel-Sleuthing-Wizards Quiz: How many of Nicolaus' helpers are at the Heidelberg Christmas market in 'Heidelberg wimmelt'? There are three on the market Square, one in the hut and five on the rooftops. And one is playing the trumpet standing in the window of the town hall.
On Sunday I also posted a present for my blog-readers. A freebie kit (DIN A4) for crafting (LED)candle-lit angels. (Look here for US-Letter format) More than 144 combinations of angels are possible. If you don't like angels you can simply omit the wings. If you need more, you can combine the dresses or use my stencil to make your own figures. The kit is only available for download up to December 31, 2017, and it is fast and easy to make, for example make some for your table or for the window sill. And for educators and primary school teachers it is a beautiful project for the darker winter months.
Christmas is approaching. Here in the north I have learned that many adults who have a connection to Heidelberg love a gift of the special variety: my wimmelbook, 'Heidelberg abounds', which you can get from your favorite book seller, directly from the Silberburg-Verlag publishing house, or from a online bookstore of your choice. It makes a really nice gift for Christmas. Children look forward to meandering through 'Heidelberg wimmelt' with the Wandermice, too.
As this is probably my last Wimmelsearchtipp of the Week post before Christmas, I would like to wish you Happy Holidays. If you are on the road, drive carefully and get home safely! Merry Christmas!