Christmas is a popular holiday when many people decorate their homes with various trinkets and ornaments. Each country seems to have certain pieces that represent the heritage of the region. One of the most popular German Christmas decorations is a German smoker, or "Rachumann". It has an interesting history that demonstrates the creativity and determination of the German culture. This part of the world is rich in tradition. The craftsmanship of the German people is tremendously unique. For the Christmas holiday, there are many special ornaments that have become a part of this country's legacy and that have been passed from generation to generation. The smoker has long been a gift that has brought joy and beauty to many homes, and its aroma has filled the air with a pleasing scent. Very few items of this nature have lasted for centuries and continue to be a large part of holiday festivities.
The Special Addition of Incense in a German Smoker
This type of decoration is normally crafted from wood, which means that no two pieces are the same. Items vary in sizes that are up to 20 inches. However, some can be larger. Although a smoker appears like an ordinary item that just sits on a shelf, it has a secret that hides inside. There is a place to put insense so that it burns and appears to be coming from the figure's mouth. This brings its religious symbolism into play. It is a remembrance of the Nativity as the Three Wise Men came bearing gifts, including frankincense and myrrh. Since the beginning of time, insense has been a precious material that has been used to honor royalty. Also, it has been a valuable commodity for trade. Many people believe that this substance has healing properties and can keep evil spirits at bay. Before present day medication was perfected, certain forms of incense were used to kill germs and to lower inflammation. During today's Christmas celebrations, many individuals light incense in their German smokers to conclude the season in a meaningful manner.
The Creation of German Smokers
The creation of German smokers began in the late 1600s. Original pieces were made from dough and paper Mache. As time progressed, local craftsmen began carving them from the abundance of wood in the area. Originally, they were made from single pieces of wood. The figurines gained popularity, especially after the mining industry in Germany began to decline. Today, these items are the major source of income for individuals in this part of the world.
By the mid-1800s, German smokers became one of the many wooden toys that were created by local artisans. Alongside nutcrackers and other ornaments, these items played a key role in a home's Christmas decor. As more and more families started to produce these beautiful collectibles, they truly became a staple for the European region. With time and practice, the figurines became perfected. The methods that were used to carve these ornaments were made more efficient as well. As they started to be shipped internationally, they became well-known throughout the world. It is very common to see German smokers in different country's households.
As World War II began, the entire planet was rocked. Uranium was still being excavated from German mines. However, the woodworking industry and toy production topped the area's source of income. Thanks to the remote environment of the mountains, many villages were not affected by the negative wartime conditions. When the war was lost, residents decided that it was time to move on and to rebuild. At this point, handcrafted goods prospered. In the present day, this part of the world is known for its fine handcrafted items. Certain families became famous for their German smokers, including the Glassers, Muellers, and Steinbachs.
Evolution of German Smokers
Today's designs of German smokers have evolved from years ago. Although no major changes were made to look of the figurines, their style became more intricate. Instead of one piece of wood, crafters began using two pieces to form the bodies. Also, the incense was moved from outside trays to inside of the bodies. This was possible due to the development of incense cones that easily fit in between the two parts of the smoker. This provided better burning and allowed the smoke to exit the mouth of each item. What sets the German smokers apart from similar figurines is that they are usually created to look like everyday people. It is common to find the likenesses of farmers, miners, and carpenters. Each one has a unique personality. This is the main reason behind their popularity. Many people appreciate the fact that the smokers resemble and honor common citizens, and they continue to be desired German Christmas decorations. Consider adding one to your collection.