Gingerbread Houses are made at Christmastime in Germany, the US and other countries around the world.
Gingerbread Houses are intricately linked to the Grimm fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. In the story, two children, Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods. They come upon a house made of gingerbread covered in frosting and candy. Unfortunately, it’s the house of the wicked witch. She befriends the kids, fattens them up and tries to eat them. Fortunately, Hansel and Gretel escape in the end.
No one knows for certain if making Gingerbread Houses was inspired by the story of Hansel and Gretel, or the reverse, if Gingerbread Houses were already being made and that inspired the tale.
In Germany, there’s a rhyme that’s said about Gingerbread Houses that comes directly from the story of Hansel and Gretel (the witch says it in the story). You can read it below in German with an English translation:
Knusper, knusper, knäuschen,
wer knuspert an meinem Häuschen?
Der Wind, der Wind,
das himmlische Kind.
Nibble, nibble, gnaw
Who is nibbling at my little house?
The wind, the wind
The heavenly child.
The first two lines are the ones most often quoted in connection to Gingerbread Houses.
Another fun fact is that in German Gingerbread Houses are sometimes called ‘Hexenhaus" (Witch’s House).
In the US, when people make Gingerbread Houses they don’t usually think of Hansel and Gretel. They mainly associate Gingerbread Houses with the joys of Christmastime.
It’s interesting to see how traditions develop and change around the world.
In the book Grimm’s Fairy Stories you can read the story of Hansel and Gretel.
This artilce was posted on Friday, December 21st, 2012 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Books & Stories, Christmas, Christmas Recipes, Countries & Cultures, Desserts, Fairy Tales, German, German Nursery Rhymes, Germany, Gingerbread Houses, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Hansel and Gretel, Holiday Recipes, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Nursery Rhymes, Recipes of the World, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.