Just like most regions have their own rituals, there are special Christmas traditions in the Black Forest as well. Sometimes, they have their origin in religion, but some are also century old habits that are passed on from generation to generation.
It is especially the nights between Christmas eve and Epiphany that are important. These twelve nights, also known as ‚Raunächte’, are nights where to ghosts are said to be especially active. This is why people sometimes still put candy outside, so that the ghosts are becalmed. Also, the twelve days and nights have the function of an outlook on the coming year – each day stands for one month. The weather on a certain day represents the weather for the respective month, for example. Also it is important to have a close look at your dreams during these nights, since they are supposed to describe the upcoming year as well. Medical herbs have a stronger effect during the Raunächte – caused by the strong connection to the other side. As you can tell, the twelve days of Christmas are very special in the Black Forest.
There are some other habits that are cause by old legends, too: The Black Forest farmers don’t go see their animals in the barn on Christmas eve, for example. It says that the animals talk to each other in the Holy night. Also, you should not wash your laundry between Christmas and the twelfth day – you are risking to ‚wash a person out of your life’ by that.
There are other beautiful traditions that have been lasting up until today, that make Christmas in the Black Forest a very special one: One of them is the ‚Triberger Weihnachtszauber’ (Christmas Magic in Triberg). The whole area around the world famous waterfalls is illuminated by more than one million lights. Another beautiful event is Christmas Eve in Freudenstadt: The whole city gathers and sets torches and wood piles on fire – which causes the whole valley to illuminated.
Picture by TWZ Event GmbH.