Christmas in Thuringia

The end of the year is fast approaching and it is getting colder and darker by the day. And that calls for a cosy evening at home. Fairy lights on, candles lit. Soft Christmas music playing in the background. A glass of hot punch or mulled wine accompanied by freshly baked Christmas biscuits or a slice of stollen cake. A few glass baubles hanging in the window and an advent wreath adorned with glass decorations. Perfect.

This has all the makings of a cosy winter’s evening. And it is made all the more special by a whole host of regional traditions – from delicious drinks and festive music to delightful tree decorations.

Discover all that Thuringia has to offer at Christmas!


Eine Lauschaer Glaskugel erhält ihren weihnachtlichen Glanz.
Five facts about Christmas in Thuringia

Trees, baubles and carols

Why is Thuringia known as the ‘land of Christmas’? It’s quite simple: many festive traditions that are now popular all over the world originated here. From the Christmas tree and glass baubles to Christmas carols. But what else makes Christmas here so special? Read on to find out!
Einfüllen von Papiermachémasse in Gipsformen
How MAROLIN® is keeping a traditional craft alive

Papier mâché for the Christmas tree

At first glance, it’s impossible to tell what the delicate Christmas tree ornaments are made of. It can’t be plastic, they look too classy for that. They’re incredibly light, but not as fragile as glass ornaments. In the period after 1815, the Steinach region got its big break, all thanks to a remarkable material – papier mâché. The MAROLIN works continue to preserve this traditional craft in Steinach today.
Thüringer Stollen
The tradition of Thuringian stollen

Christmas baking

When the dough, made from yeast and local flour, is kneaded together with all the other delicious ingredients, baked in the oven and left to mature, it tastes so good! As only the original stollen can. By that, we mean the stollen we know and love today.
Glasmalerin Elfi Bartholmes bei der Arbeit
Or why the success of Christmas tree ornaments is mostly down to women

The remarkable glassblowers’ wives

Elfi Bartholmes carefully draws her fine paintbrush over a glass sphere. With a steady hand, she decorates the Christmas tree ornaments that her father produces using traditional skills. His family has been running the Thüringer Weihnacht glassblowing workshop for four generations. Elfi is one of the women who are keeping the specialised craft of glass painting alive. Well over a hundred years ago, it was also mainly women who made these glass Christmas decorations such a worldwide success.
Herstellung von Glaskugeln in Handarbeit
Helmut Bartholmes’ family business Thüringer Weihnacht continues an old tradition

The birthplace of glass Christmas tree ornaments

The small towns along the Rennsteig Trail – Lauscha, Steinheid and Neuhaus – have always been closely associated with the art of glassblowing. Almost everyone who lived there used to have some connection with the glassblowing trade. Helmut Bartholmes’ family, which has been producing glass Christmas tree ornaments for five generations, is no exception. His story illustrates the importance and the value of this heritage, and shows how it is being preserved and passed on in the 21st century.
Feine Pralinen aus der Goethe-Chocolaterie in Bad Frankenhausen
Thuringian specialities to enjoy at home

The magic of the Christmas market

How about having your very own Christmas market at home? We have all kinds of delicious treats available so that you can enjoy the authentic taste of Thuringia within your own four walls. From wonderfully hearty to indulgently sweet – there is something here to suit every taste. Come and join us on a festive journey of culinary delights!
Lauschaer Christbaumkugeln auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt
Traditions and customs from Thuringia

Glass baubles at Christmas

Imagine a snowy winter’s day. A little town nestling in a picturesque valley. The surrounding ridges covered in dense pine forests, a dusting of snow on the branches of the trees. The lights of the houses twinkle in the darkness. Behind some of the windows there is a buzz of activity as sparkling Christmas baubles are crafted by hand. Sounds like a scene from a fairytale? Not quite …