Helga and the Nutcracker – Germany World Showcase Storytellers Epcot
The German Yuletide season is a magical time when friends and family celebrate together! Many of Germany's rich customs and traditions of the season have been adopted all over the world.
It was Germany who produced the first tannenbaum (Christmas tree). According to legend, while walkin in the woods one snowy evening, Martin Luther was overcome by the beauty of the starlight sparking on the fir trees. As the light from the heavens above shone all around him, he was reminded of the star that shone on the night the Christkindl (Christ child) was born. He wanted to share thhis majic with his children, so he brought home a fir tree from the forest. He even fashioned a way to clip candles on the tree to make it looks as though the branches were covered in glistening snow.
On Heilgabend (Christmas Eve), German parents secretly decorate the tannenbaum with candies, nuts, glass baubles, and twinkling lights. A bell is rung, the tannenbaum is presented, and the children race to open presents and snatch the goodies from the tree.