Skip to main content

Thanksgiving in Germany

Madison, moi, and Gabrielle at the Kassel Weihnachtsmarkt
On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day in America, we ventured outside of Marburg and spent the day in Kassel, Germany. 
Luther Church, Kassel
Mistletoe Trees (I had no idea!)
Kassel was so impressed with her that they made a statue of Madison
Kassel was home to the Brothers Grimm for 30 years, and so part of our day was spent at Grimm World - a museum dedicated to the life and work of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

We learned that the brothers were so much more than just fairy tale writers. They were actually linguists who spent many years studying German etymology and compiling a very thorough dictionary (although they only got to the letter F before they died!) The project that began in 1838 was carried on after their death and was finally completed in 1971 and was 33 volumes long!
The photos below are from a series made of paper and tell the story of the Grimms and their quest toward publishing their dictionary.

Of course part of the museum did focus on their fairy tales, and that part was extra fun because it was very interactive.
Madison as Snow White talking to 3 of the 7 Dwarves
Red Riding Hood's Oma is sleeping
What big teeth you have, Oma!
Lia and Gabrielle help Hansel and Gretel push the witch in the oven 
As we left Grimm World, the sun was setting and it was time to go to the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). 
Sunset in Kassel, Germany
Because Kassel was home to the Brothers Grimm for so long, the Kassel Weihnachtsmarkt is fairy tale themed. Each year, they choose one of the Grimm tales as the main theme, and this year, it was the story of Frau Holle
Frau Holle fluffs her down pillow and makes it snow
They also had reminders of several other fairy tales.
The Frog Prince
Puss in Boots
The Brave Little Tailor
Lia (Gabrielle's friend who was our travel companion/ translator for the day) took us to buy roasted almonds. They let us taste several kinds. They were all warm and sweet - some coated with sugar, others with rum, but Madison settled on buying the ones with Amaretto - a most excellent choice! But the air was more than a bit chilly, so it was time to warm up with some Glühwein (mulled wine). 
Lia, Gabrielle and moi warm up with Glühwein 
2015 Frau Holle Mug
2015 Fairy Tale Christmas Market Kassel
The sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of Christmas come to life in this winter wonderland. The soft white lights that glowed from the stands, the decorations, and the trees combined with the sound of carols set the festive mood.
The Nativity
The ferris wheel
Madison is captivated by the market
Lia and Gabrielle
The Christmas Pyramid - a traditional German decoration
The lights of the market

Kassel at night

The Gingerbread House

But the smells (and tastes!) are what I loved best. Bratwurst and other meats roasting on open fires, the sweet fragrance of warm almonds, freshly baked bread and flammkuchen mingled with the scent of anise, apples, and cinnamon. 
1/2 Meter Bratwurst (it was cut in half/doubled up to fit on the baguette)
Madison enjoys a Stokbrot (bread on a stick)
A bit of heaven - apple rings dipped in pancake batter then deep fried and covered with vanilla sauce
Even though we missed being with Bill and Will on Thanksgiving, we couldn't be more thankful for our time together at the Kassel Weihnachtsmarkt. It was the perfect night!


MarkS said…
Great Pics---looks like tons of fun and smiles for all!

Popular posts from this blog

Les Femmes Tondues

It is no great secret that some French collaborated during the Nazi Occupation of France. Some did it for less than admirable reasons, such as political gain, anti-Semitism, or true fascist ideology. Other people were frightened and saw no end to the Occupation, while some were motivated simply by the desire to survive. Many women who collaborated fall into the latter category. Food, clothes, and fuel (among other items) were scarce during the Occupation. Nearly everything needed to sustain life was rationed, and much of France's food and other necessary commodities were shipped to Germany. One way to ensure warmth and a full belly was by making nice with a German soldier. 
In a desperate attempt to survive, some French women took on German soldiers as lovers. It return, the soldier ensured the woman's basic needs were met. Not all women had affairs for material gain - some simply slept with German soldiers because they were lonely. Either way, these sexual liaisons produced man…

La Rafle du Vel d’Hiv (The Vel d’Hiv Round Up)

Photo Source: 1st Art Gallery
Every Holocaust survivor – every ghost of those who did not survive - has a story to tell. Each story is unique, yet equally tragic. Some we have heard more than once, while others lay silent, buried in the dusty pages of a nation’s shame…
Occupation and Anti-Semitism 14 June 1942 marked the two-year anniversary of the Nazi occupation of Paris. By this point, many French had joined the Résistance, while others felt it in their best interest to collaborate with the Nazi regime. Many Jews had fled France, and those who remained behind lived in chronic fear. The Jewish Decrees (France's version of the Nuremberg Laws) saw the Jews of Paris stripped of their livelihoods, property, and rights. As in other occupied areas of Europe, the French Jews were required to wear the yellow stars of David. Inscribed with a single word in the center, Juif (Jew), the badges had to be sewn neatly on the left side of the chest. Failure to do so could land a person in jail – o…

A Little Zazou ~ Pour Vous

Sorry Disney fans, but I am not talking about Simba's little feathered hornbill friend in the Lion King (that's spelled Zazu anyway). No, I am talking about the Zazou Jazz Era that began in Interwar Paris and les zazous who, in their own way, defied Vichy and the Nazis when they occupied France during the Second World War. 
Thanks to my ADD that always manages to kick in when I am supposed to be doing serious research, I stumbled upon the concept of zazou when I was - you guessed it - researching for my Master's thesis on the French Resistance last year. 
While I was disappointed that I could not use this newfound knowledge in my thesis, all was not lost. This detour introduced me not only to the fascinating history of les zazous, but some really remarkable Manouche Jazz (a.k.a. Gypsy Swing Jazz) that I knew would some day make a great blog. Lucky you, mes chers, that day is today!
What the Heck IS Zazou? Zazou describes a style of jazz as well as a group of people. Les zazous