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From Pelzmärtel to El Gordo - Christmas traditions in the southwest

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The various Christmas traditions in the country are currently receiving special attention again. The southwest differs significantly from other federal states in some aspects of the celebrations. In this article, we take a look at the various special features that characterize the Christmas season in the region.

The Christmas tree praise

In the Black Forest, as in other regions of the south-west of Germany, it is common practice to say a few words of praise about a relative's or neighbor's Christmas tree. The name of the so-called Christmas tree praise became common for this. In fact, it is an act that cannot be attributed solely to the respect shown by other households for the beautifully decorated tree. In fact, its beauty doesn't matter at all. Much more important is the fact that the owner of the promised tree is traditionally obliged to reward the praise by serving a schnapps. In some regions, the tradition of carving for the Christmas tree has resulted in a regular migratory movement from door to door, especially in the last hours before Christmas Eve.

Is there a new tradition?

History shows that local traditions like the celebration of the Christmas tree are not set in stone. In southern Baden, as in all of Germany, the triumph of the El Gordo Christmas lottery, which originally comes from Spain, is catching on. The big jackpot, which the lucky winners can look forward to, is called "El Gordo". In the past, if you wanted to participate in El Gordo, you had to do so short vacation in Spain, because the tickets were only sold there.

provider like lottoland now offer German players the opportunity to take part in the El Gordo draw online. Lottoland is legal and acts as an intermediary. Players can decide for themselves whether they want to buy a whole or just a tenth ticket. In Spain, on the morning of December 22, people all gather in front of the TV to watch the El Gordo draw. If you play online, you don't have to do this. Lottoland is reputable and also announces the lottery ticket number of the winners on its website.

Pelzmärtel, Nussaweible and Belzenickel

Most people should be familiar with St. Nicholas, Santa Claus and Knecht Ruprecht. But the customs in the southwest know other important representatives with Pelzmärtel, the Nussaweible or the Belzenickel the Christmas season. The Pelzmärtel, for example, is a wild figure that is hung with all sorts of bells. He is accompanied by sinister fellows who occasionally crack their whips. So draw them in particular in the northern Black Forest around to drive away evil spirits. The hustle and bustle looks similar at the Swabian-Alemannic carnival .

The Belzer

In some parts of the city, the mysterious Belzer can also be seen at Christmas. You take over the accompaniment of the Christ child, who distributes his presents from house to house. Here, too, the appearance can initially cause resentment, especially among children. But basically the Belzer is also a peaceful figure, as long as no pranks are being played with him.

Image courtesy of Stefan Asal - Datacreate Asal