One thing I can say about Germany, is that you can't miss a holiday. If it's a big holiday, there's bound to be a lead up to it. And the lead up to the holiday is as exciting (if not more) than the actual holiday itself. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the leadup to carnivale. Well, Christmas is no different.
Today, in Nurnberg, advent gets kicked off with the largest Christmas market in Germany. The Christkindlesmarkt is proclaimed open by the Christmas Angel. From what I can find, the angel is always a woman (unlike the proclamation of carnivale season) The Christmas angel is elected every two years and must meet the following requirements:
They should, if possible, have been born in Nuremberg, but in any case should
have lived here for a long time. They must be over 16 and no older than 19
years. They must be at least 160 centimetres tall, have a very good head for
heights and an ability to withstand bad weather.
The Christmas Angel term lasts two years and once they're down to the semifinals, their pictures are in the papers and the public gets an input on voting for their favorite. However, unlike North American pagents, there's no swimsuit or evening gown fashion show, but a quiz on Nurnberg history.
The Christmas Angel does the usual pageant queen duties, like visit old people and kids. And proclaim the Christmas market open. Also, last year's Christmas Angel opens the Chicago Christmas market and she has to deliver her proclamation in English.
I think it's cute to have a Christmas Angel, and kudos to Germany for not sexualising the Angel. Because you know if it was in North America she'd be strutting around in bra, panties and wings. But I really think the outfit it a bit much. But then again, maybe the outfit and wig are cleverly crafted to "withstand bad weather".......
The 2009/10 Angel
An 80's Angel