From Martin Luther’s influence on Christmas traditions to atmospheric Christmas Markets
A Christmas tree, special carols and presents on December 24th: these much-loved traditions are all linked to Martin Luther. Start with the tree. While walking through snowy woods under a bright starlit sky, the beauty of the scene so moved Luther that he wanted to recreate it at home. So, he cut down a fresh tree, brought it inside and decorated it with real candles. Or so the story goes. What is known is that The Great Reformer composed the Christmas carol still sung today: “From Heaven above to earth I come, To bear good news to every home.” He also moved the date gifts were given from Saint Nicholas’ Day, December 6th, to Christmas Eve, December 24th.
Those are not the only Christmas customs for which Germany is known. Around the world, the country is famous for its Christmas markets. And nowhere are they more atmospheric than in LutherCountry, the German federal states of Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia, an hour or so south of Berlin.