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Nov 29/30 St. Andrews

Winter begins on the Day of of apostle Andrew, older brother to Peter. Crusaders brought his relics to Italy and to the Scottish Royal Abbey of St. Andrews. He became patron of the Scots, St. Andrew’s, white on a blue screen ‚Saltire‘, the Flag of Scotland.

His day on the 30th of November brings out the storage apples and  marks ancient local market days and the last balls before Advent’s fast.

Specially celebrated as well in Poland, in Scotland St. Andrew’s is celebrated by festive Drums & Pipes Tattoos.

Dec 5/6 „Nickeloos“ & „Santa Claus“

For Rhine Valley, St. Nicolas has been very important, for as Patron of the Sailors all Captains joined his guild, managing sailing and boating on river Rhine. From 16th century, „Krone“ Assmannshausen became guild hall.
Until today, the traditional Blessing of the Fleet on Nicolas’ Day reminds of the importance of the village.

Even more important of course is boot-filling and gift-giving to the children. Legends tell its meaning with golden oranges for traditional gifts.
As the bishop in medieval times on this day visited schools for inspection as strict yet benevolent „Speculator“, a special imprinted gingerbread, carrying Nicolas’ image is baked and given out on his day.

The surprise came 1822 with Clement Clarke Moore’s poem „Twas the Night before Christmas“, connecting Nicolas with reindeer, chimneys and Christmas eve. Nicolas turned Santa Claus (code name „Kriss Kringle“), hired elves, a polar workshop and distribution centers in different department stores.
Since 1955 he is followed by NORAD (www.noradsanta.org).

Whatever tradition one is keen to follow, St. Nicolas Day is celebrated soundly within the Market.

On Dec 6 at 10:00 am the traditional gift-giving to children is taking place at Oberstraße.

On the following Sunday of Advent Assmannshausen celebrates its traditional Blessing of the Fleet.

Dec 13 St. Lucy - Scandinavian Christmas

Eleven Days before Christmas Eve, on Dec 13, Sweden and Scandinavia celebrate Lucy, ‘of the Light’.
Before calendar reform, the Day of the Sicilian Saint was celebrated close to winter solstice, marking the beginning of Scandinavian Christmas, ending after four weeks, Mid-January, at the Day of Knut, by a waltz around the Christmas tree.

Traditionally for Lucy’s day, the eldest daughter of the household rises early, puts on a white gown with a red girdle and a crown of lights, and wakes her family with coffee, Lussekatten, special saffron buns and song.

This beautiful lore we follow by a Lucy’s walk and visit on Sunday, Dec 11 2016,  starting 6:30 pm.

Dec 20 – Thomas' Night

Advent coming to an end, Christmas is close, Christmas time is here.
Time to turn home.

Four days ahead of Christmas Eve, on Dec 20, Rüdesheim Christmas Market of Nations celebrates traditions around longest night, in old times dedicated to apostle Thomas, the doubting.

With winter solstice, this longest night of the year is celebrated since ancient times.. Stonehenge and other early monuments mark the point, where the sun rises on this day.

Within our region, a variety of customs are related to this day.

The Brothers Grimm tell about the Wild Hunt, going over the land during Twelve Nights, and about Lady Holle.
Others connect the masks and minstrels of this night to the mumming plays of Nicolas Day, showing humanity’s virtues and vices.

We use a little bit of both sources, borrow the Brothers Grimm rapport about the customs of the Hall of Spinning.

Minstrels and Mummers remind us on the Klöckel walks: In them, the children and the village youth went over land, visiting farms and houses, performing little plays and wishing ‘Frohe Weihnachten’ – Merry Christmas.

Meanwhile, Breuer’s Schloss at Drosselgasse offers delights from the Hall of Spinning as well as from the Hessian country kitchen.

The traditional pageant of the masks and mummers starts at 06:30 pm at the Church on the marketplace, leads via Rheinstraße and Drosselgasse to Oberstraße, where a little refreshment from the Hall of Spinning is waiting.

Pageant closes at about 08:00 pm at the Market with glowing lights and
„Frohe Weihnachten“ – Merry Christmas to all guests and visitors.