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The long and interesting history behind the German smoker makes it one of my favorite Christmas traditions. With so many designs and themes to choose from, its not hard to find a cute German smoker to fit in perfectly with the rest of your décor. And in addition to adding a unique piece of German heritage to your home this holiday season, decorating with a German smoker will also give you a chance to incorporate a fun Christmas tradition into your holiday celebration.
German smokers are wooden incense burners used to celebrate the end of the holiday season.
The tradition is tied to the tale of the Three Wise Men, who visited Jesus after his birth. The Wise Men delivered their most precious gifts to the baby – gold, frankincense, and myrrh. All three gifts are still celebrated in different ways throughout Germany during the country’s celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, from December 25 to January 6.
Each of these 12 days of Christmas has a special meaning, and the final day of the holiday celebrates the gifts of the three Wise Men by lighting incense in German smokers to mark the end of the season.
The use of German smokers, or Rauchermen, began in the late 1600s in southeast Germany. Artisans in the Miriquidi Forest began designing tiny figures by carving them out of a single piece of wood. These figurines became popular across the country in the mid-1800s, when woodworkers in the region began selling their goods across the continent.
Along with German smokers, craftsmen in this region are also world-renowned for making beautiful nutcrackers and Christmas ornaments.
The first Rauchermen were carved from one piece of wood and the burning incense was placed next to the figure in a tray. When incense cones were developed in the 1700s, German smokers evolved into two pieces that would fit together to create one figure.
This design allows you to place the incense cone inside the figurine, causing smoke to come out of the figure’s mouth.
While another German Christmas tradition, the nutcracker, often depicts regal figures like military or religions people, Rauchermen are often designed to resemble the every day man. German smokers usually embody working men and women, like miners, shepherds, bakers, carpenters, farmers, and chimneysweeps.
With such a fun story behind them, who wouldn’t want to add a German smoker to their collection of holiday décor? If you’re looking for a traditional German smoker this year, you’ll love some of these fun designs.
Make sure you have some of the special incense cones for your German smoker, so you are ready for the holiday season!
Santa Claus is a classic symbol of the Christmas season. With a bell in one hand and a lantern in the other, this Santa Rauchermann would make an adorable addition to your holiday décor.
If your family is a fan of Frosty the Snowman, they’ll love this adorable German smoker in the shape of a snowman. Complete with a top hat and corn cob pipe, this cute Snowman smoker is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.
Tree Cutter Smoker
Looking for a more traditional Rauchermann design? You’ll love this classic tree cutter German smoker, which depicts a tree cutter holding a saw in one hand and a bell in the other. You even get some wooden Christmas trees to set next to him to complete the design.
Toy Vendor Smoker
In addition to wooden smokers, German craftsmen are also well known for their wooden toy crafting. This fun toy vendor smoker combines the two past times into one cute Christmas decoration.
This German smoker is outfitted with a variety of adorable wooden Christmas toys, making it a family-friendly way to incorporate this unique German tradition into your home this year.
Skiing Santa Smoker
German smokers are often whimsical depictions of traditional Christmas icons, and this cute skiing Santa smoker is no exception. From the furry details on his coat to the bag on his back overflowing with gifts, this fun Santa smoker is sure to brighten up your holiday décor.
Ornament Salesman Smoker
Ornaments are another sought-after craft from the German region where Rauchmermen are made, making ornament salesmen a common trade in the region. This ornament salesman smoker features a variety of traditional German ornaments in his tray, adding tons of holiday cheer to your Christmas décor.
Winter Girl Smoker
While German smokers are traditionally depicted as men, you will occasionally find a female smoker to add to your collection. This beautiful winter girl smoker is a unique take on the traditional Rauchermann design. Instead of the incense smoke coming out of the woman’s mouth, it comes out of the warm loaf of bread she’s carrying on her tray.
St. Nicholas Smoker
Although many smokers depict ever day tradesmen, some Rauchermann designs feature more noble characters. This beautiful Saint Nicholas smoker is one of those unique pieces.
Not all smokers have to depict traditional holiday characters. Have a little fun this holiday season by adding this Oktoberfest smoker to your Christmas collection.
Scottish German Smoker
This is the smoker I have. My side of the family has a lot of Scottish roots that we love to celebrate! I picked this guy up at a local German holiday market and totally love him. He comes out each holiday season.
Let me know your favorite German smoker in the comments below!