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Advent and a German Christmas Countdown -republished

Adventszeit und Weihnachten 

By: Evelyn Groemminger

Christmas, or Weihnachten, is considered by Germans to be the most important of the major holidays. Although secularized and commercialized compared to Christmas celebrations of years before, the German holiday season is a time for celebration and family and friends. Not only the holiday itself, but also the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas involve many traditions and customs of diverse origins.

Advent (Latin for "arrival, coming") is the four-week period leading up to Christmas. In German-speaking countries and most of Europe the first Advent weekend is the traditional beginning of the Christmas season when open-air Christmas markets (Christkindlmärkte) appear in many cities, the most famous ones being those in Nuremberg and  the Striezelmarkt in Dresden.

Advent officially begins on the first Sunday after Nov. 26. Four Advent Sundays lead up to Christmas.

Now it is the time for the  Advent wreath (Adventskranz) which  is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas.

The Christmas pyramid ( Weihnachtspyramide ),

originally from the Erzgebirge region of Germany, the wood or rope pyramid was the "poor man's Christmas tree." Today it is a popular Christmas decoration in many parts of Germany, often adorning window sills, usually made with candles and bells that ring as the heat from the candles turns a wooden rotor at the top.

During the four weeks before Christmas, Germans celebrate Advent, a romantic and delightful time of the year, which is strongly linked to traditional Christmas markets in wonderful settings. You'll find plenty of hand-crafted Christmas decorations, cute little incense burners, wooden-carved toys and nativity scenes to place at the heart of your Christmas display. Germany's first Christmas market was recorded in 1393, and today there are thousands of them all over the country.

The town squares, normally dark early in winter months, are lit up and buzzing with activity during this time. Townspeople gather together, listen to brass band music, drink beer or hot mulled wine (Glühwein) or apple cider, and enjoy the hearty traditional fare of the region. Vendors peddle baked goods, including gingerbread hearts, sugar-roasted almonds, crepes, cookies, stollen, cotton candy and other sweets. Christmas tree decorations, seasonal items, and handcrafted articles, such as wooden toys and hand-blown glass ornaments, are also sold.

 

Both gingerbread houses and the Nutcracker came from German stories. Before the Nutcracker became a Tchaikovsky ballet, he was the hero of an 1816 story by Berlin's Ernst Theodor Amadeus (E.T.A.) Hoffman. The gingerbread house first appeared in the Grimm brothers' tale of Hänsel and Gretel, then in Humperdinck's short opera which premiered on December 23, 1893. Gingerbread has quite a history on its own. It dates back to ancient Egypt. But it was in Nuremberg in 1643 that gingerbread bakers were first allowed to form their own trade guild. They developed export markets, and today, one Nuremberg exporter produces about three million pieces of gingerbread per day in the months before Christmas, for shipment around the world.

Another Christmas tradition is the Advent calendar, first printed in Germany in 1908. The Adventskalender with its 24 windows, helps children count down to Christmas Eve (Heiligabend), beginning on 1st of December.

Small treats are hidden behind little paper doors for the 24 days until Christmas.

Read more: Advent and a German Christmas...

Ningbo Mixer and Rotary Social Event

Please be invited again for the traditional Ningbo Mixer-Open for All - jointly with the Rotary Ningbo social event

As usual only rmb 80 for 2 drinks and finger food. Starting 18:45 at the lobster Bar Ningbo Shangri La Hotel.

See you. And please share and come with your friends.

Pilot Production Program of Intelligent Environment Function Materials Lands in Beilun

On the afternoon of Oct.13th, the pilot production program of intelligent environment function materials officially landed in Beilun District. It is a trilateral cooperation of the Institute of Urban Environment of CAS, Beilun government and Shenyang Xinsong Robert Automation Co., Ltd. It focuses on the materialization of the research result, building a replicable production line of the environment function materials and bringing the materials to the market along with the intelligent packaging in the service of enterprises in the Yangtze River Delta.

As the automobile industry develops robustly in Beilun, the need for tail gas treatment and other key technologies become stronger but not a few enterprises are reluctant to join pilot projects because of their long length, high expense and high risks.

 “This project is a combination of the research strength of the Institute of Urban Environment of CAS in fields like tail gas treatment, treatment of flue gas from stationary resources and indoor air purification and the manufacturing advantage of Xin Song Co., Ltd.’s Robert production.

Read more: Pilot Production Program of...

Final of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest for New Materials to be held

It is learned from Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau that the final of the 5th China New Materials Innovation and Entrepreneurship Contest will be started on November 15, where with the help of the investment agencies and entrepreneurship tutors, 132 enterprises and 26 teams from all the competing divisions throughout the country to demonstrate the innovation and entrepreneurship achievements in the new materials field. Six projects from Ningbo will participate in the final competition, including those from Vision Technology, Signatronic Technology and Infinite Materials.

As one of the six divisions for the contest, Ningbo has for the first time the chance to host the final. Sponsored by Ningbo Municipal Government, and assisted by Ningbo Science and Technology Bureau and Ningbo Angel Investment Club, this session has attracted a large group of latest and most advanced technological and industrial projects all over the world.

In terms of the source of the candidate projects, those from Guangdong Province, Jiangsu Province and Shanghai divisions account for one third, and the others are from other 30 divisions like Tianjin, Shandong Province and Zhejiang Province. In terms of the domains of the projects, over 60% fall in such fields as metallic materials, inorganic non-metallic material and polymer materials, while others are in such fields as bio-medicine materials, new energy and environment-friendly materials. As for the talent levels, most teams are with high academic qualifications, including six led by the “national 1000-talents plan” experts and 14 started by the returnees

2016 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum to Open in November

It is learnt from the organization committee meeting on the afternoon of Oct.14th that 2016 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation forum will open in Ningbo on Nov.2nd and last until 4th. Vice mayor Wang Jianhou attended the meeting and gave suggestions for further preparation for the forum.

2016 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum will seize the great opportunities of China’s implementation of the Belt and Road and the Yangtze River Economic Belt initiatives, promote the Ningbo-centered cities’ synchronization in integrated progress in Ningbo, Taizhou and Zhoushan. With a theme of “open and sharing, cooperation and win-win”, the forum will exploit the advantages of Ningbo Bang to the full and strengthen the communication and cooperation between Hong Kong and Ningbo in all respects to reap the mutually beneficial results.

2016 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic Cooperation Forum includes

Read more: 2016 Ningbo-Hong Kong Economic...

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