The James T. Callow Folklore Archive
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It is tradition in a German community to collect the Christmas
trees. There was one location in which people took their trees to
build one huge pile. Later, a toy witch was placed on top of the
pile and at a celebration at the beginning of February the pile of
trees was set on fire. The burning of the Christmas trees
symbolized the burning out of winter along with evil symbolized by
the witch. The Germans celebrated with music and dancing by the
large fire. You could see from the upper balcony of the apartment
building the fires of the other communities.
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CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas tree
Date learned: 01-00-1986
While I was stationed in West Germany, we lived within the
local community. One of our German neighbors presented us with a
house warming gift on a beautiful round wooden platter. The gift
consisted of a ceramic cup full of salt, a pfennig, and a loaf of
bread. The salt symbolized the spice of life, the pfennig
symbolized financial stability, and the loaf of bread symbolized
the absence of hunger.
Date learned: 10-00-1985