Christ child

Christ child:

Santa Claus comes in Berlin, Christ the Child in Munich. It was completely different 100 years ago.

Our Christmas customs are successfully ecumenized - but also economized. But many more people believe in Jesus Christ than you think.

It is the largest festival in the world. Almost a third of the world's population, 2.4 billion Christians, celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christians are by far the largest religious community in the world (just under a quarter of humanity is Muslim and thus the second largest group).

Contrary to the perceived trend in Germany, the number of Christians worldwide is growing rapidly, by around ten million believers a year.

There are surprising mass applications to Christianity, such as in Korea, where Christianity has now become the majority religion.

There are now 30,000 Christian communities in Seoul alone. And everyone celebrates Christmas. However, with very different traditions and rites.

In Germany, customs were strictly divided between Protestants and Catholics for generations. In Protestant areas, nativity scenes were frowned upon, as was St. Nicholas.

In Catholic regions, however, children were traditionally given gifts just on St. Nicholas' Day.

Martin Luther wanted to change this in the 16th century because in the wake of the Reformation he rejected the veneration of saints.

From then on, St. Nicholas no longer suited the Protestants' new belief in northern Lutheran Germany.

God himself should be in the foreground and so the Lutherans replaced Nicholas with the "Holy Christ", ie Jesus in the form of the crib infant.

Over time the idea developed that Christ descends from heaven every year for the birthday party. The figure of the baby Jesus thus became a Christ child, which in all sorts of angelic variants with crown and goldilocks as a gift bring joy to the Christian children.

But next to the Protestant Christ child, the Catholic Nicholas by no means disappeared, but rather turned into Santa Claus.

In the 19th century, it became popular with Hoffmann von Fallersleben's writings. In the Empire, he invaded the Protestant areas and the bourgeoisie used him as a male supernanny to encourage children to make a virtuous lifestyle.

Santa Claus lost his episcopal attributes such as chasubles and bishop's staff, but the bishop's mitre remained as a red cap.

Dutch and Irish immigrants also spread their patron saint of sailors and children in America. From then on, St. Nicholas became "Santa Claus" to personify Christmas gifts in the New World.

Thanks to the movies Walt Disney and Warner Brothers, Santa Claus became a global icon. Coca-Cola took over the Dickmann Rauschebart drawings from Thomas Nast from Landau in the Palatinate and turned it into an advertising figure for the effervescent lemonade from 1931.

This campaign had a lasting impact on today's image of Santa Claus - also as the epitome of modern consumer Christmas.

From then on, Nikolaus as Santa Claus is omnipresent in countless incarnations, from the parcel clerk climbing the facade, crawling in chimneys, to the bearded beard with a jute sack at Christmas markets, to grandpa telling stories in the wing chair.

The commercialized versions have made Santa Claus (to a certain extent, Nicholas 2.0) the most popular Christmas figure in the Protestant areas of northern and eastern Germany.

Also because it appears to be lovable for non-believers, and it almost embodies a religiously washed-out Christmas gift.

In the south and west German, especially Catholic regions, where the Christian faith is more firmly anchored, the Protestant Christ child is now again valued higher. It symbolizes a more direct connection to the actual core of the religious event.

The religious denominations of the leading figures in Christmas have thus completely abolished and, curiously, even reversed.

Christmas in Germany today is largely ecumenized through the customization. Protestants now also love cribs, Catholics worship the Christ child - and both sit in front of the Christmas tree, which only became common in the 19th century.

Beyond customs, Christmas is a celebration of love and family for everyone, for many the day on which the Lord God came into the world and became man.

How many celebrate the Feast of Faith? In Germany, there are 23 million Catholics and 21 million Protestants.

Besides, there are 1.5 million Orthodox Christians and once again as many members of Christian free churches. And with that, Christmas is the biggest festival in Germany.


Post a Comment

Please do not enter any spam link in the comment box.

Previous Post Next Post