The Story behind the Erzgebirge Christmas Pyramid
The Christmas pyramid is one of the most loved decorations from the Erzgebirge region in Germany. Hundreds of thousands of people flock to this special place all year round to experience the joy that Christmas brings and to do a little holiday shopping. Festivals, Christmas markets and traditional celebrations attract Germans and tourists alike. Today we talk about one of the oldest traditions and most famous Christmas decorations — the Erzgebirge Christmas pyramid.
A Brief History of the German Woodworking
Erzgebirge, or the Ore Mountains, holds a special place in history. From the 12th to the 14th century, this region was mining silver, tin and precious metals, but at some point in the 16th century, miners had to find new ways to make income. Since wood was plentiful in the region, the villagers began woodworking, along with glasswork, blacksmithing and needlework. While small mining projects continued over the years, it was handmade wooden toys, decorations and souvenirs that stood the test of time and made Erzgebirge famous. Seiffen — one of the most famous towns known as “Toyland” — produces the most wooden toys, figurines and Christmas decorations in the region. You can even visit the workshop to see how each wooden craft is made.
What Is the Purpose of the Erzgebirge Christmas Pyramid?
In the middles ages, the Erzgebirge Christmas pyramid was hung from the ceiling or placed on the table to light homes. The pyramid is made with a spinning wooden base, and scenes that depict everyday life or Christmas motifs like angels, the nativity, carolers or animals with a Christmas tree are placed on the base. To give the form of a pyramid, wooden arms come up from the base that connect to a fan at the top, which helps spin the base. Candles are placed around the pyramid to give off light. The more simple pyramids have one tier, while the more expensive ones have up to five and include more figurines placed amongst the different levels. As seen above, we also have unique C-shaped pyramids, a modern take on the tiered type.
Why Are German Christmas Pyramids So Special?
Like the cuckoo clock, the handmade wooden crafts from Erzgebirge are also considered collector’s items to be passed down from generation to generation. It became a tradition to have these decorations out on display every year to bring joy to the whole family. Supporting these craftsmen keeps handmade wooden arts alive and allows the traditions that German people hold so dear to continue. Each piece is still made by hand, from the detailed carving to the painting and assembling of the pyramid, making it a unique piece of art.
How Can You Purchase a Real Christmas Pyramid from Germany?
If you have the pleasure of visiting the Ore Mountains, you’ll find a great selection of wooden folk art, but for those who can’t visit Germany, you can get your very own Christmas pyramid on our website. Your purchase of an authentic wooden Christmas pyramid from Germany helps support the continued artisanship of woodworking. Imitation knockoffs will not be handmade or use the same wood quality as those in the Erzgebirge region. These beautiful decorations will stand the test of time and be passed down through the generations for all to love.