Of Nutcrackers, Smoking men, Flower children and more

If you’ve been walking through the Christmas markets in Germany, especially Saxony and Dresden, you must have noticed the stalls with a variety of traditional wooden figurines. Nutcrackers, the ‘Smoking Men’ or wooden figurines that emit incense smoke, or the ‘Schwibbögen’ – wooden arches with candles that illuminate window ledges in many homes.

These are the result of the Ore Mountains Folk Art and a traditon that goes back centuries. A small village called Seiffen, tucked in the old mining region of Saxony, is made up almost entirely of craftsmen who produce the high quality figurines in the months leading up to Christmas.

And those delightful little flower children? Exquisitely finished, they are collectibles manufactured by the company Wendt and Kühn since 1915. Most bought are the little angels- the Grühnhainichen- in a white frock and green wings with eleven dots. Buy some to clip onto your christmas tree back home and you have a little bit of Saxon history in your Christmas.