German Christmas Pyramids
German Christmas Pyramids - Traditional German Craftmenship
Christmas Pyramids are light frames, which are used as Christmas decoration. Production and use of Christmas pyramids are a part of folk art and customs in the Erzgebirge.
The carousel-like frames are made with both Christian motifs (such as angels and the birth of Jesus) and secular motifs (such as miners and forest motifs) and are traditionally driven by the rising heat from the candles, which is set in motion by an impeller and the plate connected to it by a rod.
Christmas pyramid became a symbol of Christmas, especially in the Ore Mountains. The light racks known in Germany in the 18th century were the origin of today's pyramids. They consisted of four sticks entwined with green branches, tied together at the upper end and decorated with lights.
In many village churches there used to be lattice scaffolds tapering upwards for Christmas mass, covered with lighted candles and glittering objects. Decorating these pyramids and lighting the candle lights was one of the main tasks of the candlestick-building societies formed at that time. Until the middle of the 19th century, the Berlin Christmas pyramid Perjamide (also called "Märkische Pyramide" or "Perchtemite") was still the centerpiece of Christmas decorations in Berlin.
These usually simple pyramid-shaped wire and wooden frames entwined with fir greenery were decorated, served as light bearers, and were sold at Christmas markets or made in-house.
At many German Christmas markets, meter-high Christmas pyramids are the highlight of the atmospheric athmosphere.
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