Smoking Santa: Gustavus German classes study holiday traditions

Posted on December 17th, 2012 by

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“Smoking Santa” –  photo credit: Hannah Vogel

Smoking santas, nutcrackers, and gingerbread! In Professor Pat Branstad’s German classes, students learned about Christmas holiday traditions in German-speaking countries recently, and also studied the German influence on American Christmas celebrations.

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On December 6, students celebrated Nikolaustag (Saint Nicholas Day) in class with traditional candies and Pfeffernüsse cookies.

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The following day the class used the International Center kitchens to build gingerbread houses:  hands-on learning about another German holiday tradition that has influenced US cultural norms.

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The houses are now on display in the Humanities Resource Center in Confer-Vickner.

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Photos:  All the photos are by Professor Branstad, except for the “Smoking Santa” by Hannah Vogel.

  • handcrafted Nussknacker (nutcrackers) and “Räuchermänner” (“smokers”) from the Ore Mountains of central Germany along with some traditional Nikolaus figures
  • the gingerbread building class

 

 

 

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