I received this season's greeting from Lee Lochbaum, who has lived in Germany for the past six years. Lee taught English in the USA for three decades and is now happily retired. He has vivid memories of his Midwest days and enjoys reading from afar our '58 website and blog.
This past week in Dresden, the capital of Saxony, I attended the 572nd Striezelmarkt and enjoyed the traditional food, sights, and sounds of Germany´s premier Christmas Market.
Of the 2,500 + Markets listed as "official" across the country, this one is the Striezel (old German for stollen) Market. Despite wars and devastating bombings, the bakers of Dresden baked the best stollen, now known the world over. The word stollen means the swaddling of Christ (hence the shape of the loaf). Its full name is Christstollen.
Another symbol of the season is the Pflaumentoffel, the Saxon word for chimney sweep. Pflaumen means plums and Toffel has an uncertain meaning. In many homes, these toy figures decorate baskets of fruit, including plums and prunes.
As well as its 572nd Market, this year Dresden celebrates its 800th anniversary as a registered city. I lived there for nearly three years and found Dresden to be a grand, Saxon-proud town that has always shown its determination to endure!
Ich wünsche Ihnen ein Frohes Weihnachtsfest und einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr 2007 aus Dresden Deutschland!
(I wish you a Merry Christmas and a good slide into the 2007 New Year from Dresden, Germany!)
Peace on earth! Lee Lochbaum, EXPAT