The German Department spread Christmas joy this week, kicking off with St Nikolaustag.

On Friday 6th December, girls at St Mary’s experienced the wonder of St Nicholas’ Day! Children all across Germany and mainland Europe have been celebrating since the 4th century. According to the story, St Nick apparently climbed onto the roof of three poor sisters to anonymously drop a lump of gold down their chimney.

Today, children put a shoe or boot outside their bedroom in the hope that it will be filled with confectionary and gifts, since the story goes that the gold landed in the sisters’ shoes. In the case that St Nikolaus comes across a naughty child, he calls on his helper, Knecht Ruprecht, to fill the child’s shoes with dry branches.

Luckily, all of the girls at St Mary’s had shoes overflowing with sweets and chocolates!

Another tradition that was shared was the making/assembling of Gingerbread houses. Gingerbread houses originated in Germany during the 16th century. At some point in history they were very elaborately decorated with gold leaf, but the girls at St Mary's used mini marshmallows and wine gums instead, looking just as beautiful. Gingerbread houses became particularly popular after the Brothers Grimm wrote the story of Hansel and Gretel, in which the main characters stumble upon a house made entirely of treats. It is unclear whether or not Gingerbread houses were a result of the popular fairy tale, or vice versa. Either way, they have become a great and fun tradition in Germany that can be enjoyed by all ages.

We wish everyone 'fröhliche Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr'!

Ms Melanie Davies, German Teacher