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So many of the Christmas traditions we practice today are originally German traditions. While some, like the Christmas tree, are more common than others, I still love incorporating German elements into my holiday décor.
And one of my favorite German Christmas decorations is the Christmas German pyramid.
The craftsmanship and beauty that comes along with every Christmas pyramid is amazing. But what I love about this traditional holiday decoration is the history behind it.
German Christmas pyramids (sometimes also called German candle carousel or Christmas candle carousel) are elaborate candle holders that feature a spinning fan on the top.
The way this fan moves always amazes me, it from the heat of the Christmas pyramid candles that propel the windmill blades into motion as the flames burn.
Pyramids come in an array of sizes and styles. While most depict religious scenes, some styles also feature scenes from everyday German life.
The use of pyramids in holiday celebrations is thought to have begun in the 16th century. Inspired by the shape of a Christmas tree, German pyramids are used to represent the symbols of the Christian faith – the trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
While the concept of the Christmas pyramid began two centuries before, the pyramids didn’t gain popularity throughout the country until the 1800s. Miners in the Erzebirge region began constructing their own smaller versions of the pyramids to make sure there was enough fresh air in the mine shafts as they worked.
Later, when the mines shut down, craftsmen began crafting the pyramids and selling them at Christmas markets.
Making sure we have a German Christmas pyramid has been a tradition that I’ve had since my kids were babies. As they’ve grown up this is probably the Christmas decoration that tops the list of their very favorite.
It’s a big deal when we bring out our Christmas pyramid for the first time during the holiday season.
We store ours in the same box it came in. It has the base, plus the decorations, but the windmill blades are separate. You gently place them on the metal post that sticks up at the top.
We love lighting the candles for the first time each Christmas season. It is beautiful and so cool to see the windmill blades spinning around with the lit candles. The blades start out spinning fairly slow, but as the night goes on and the heat from the candles get hotter, the blades go faster.
Nativity Christmas Pyramid
In line with the tradition of basing a Christmas pyramid scene on a religious event, this simple nativity scene Christmas pyramid is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday season.
And its compact size makes it perfect for anyone hoping to add a German pyramid to their holiday décor without sacrificing a ton of space for the decoration.
Woodland Christmas Pyramid
Adorned with a decorative tree in the center and small woodland creatures on its base, this colorful woodland Christmas pyramid is a unique take on the traditional pyramid style. The ornate woodwork and winter-inspired design make it a great option for your seasonal display this year.
Alpine House Pyramid
Although cuckoo clocks aren’t considered Christmas décor, their design inspired a variety of other German-style decorations. Anyone who loves the look of a classic German cuckoo clock will enjoy this holiday version.
The use of a traditional alpine house on this cute Christmas pyramid harkens back to the look of a German cuckoo clock, complete with a spinning carousel in the center.
While most Christmas pyramids feature natural wood designs, not all pyramids need to be simple.
Add a little bit of flashy style to your holiday display this season with this beautiful snowman pyramid. Featuring a snowman surrounded sparkling Christmas trees and shining stars, this unique Christmas pyramid is a wonderful option for anyone hoping to expand their German pyramid collection.
German Christmas pyramids can be very elaborate holiday decorations, like this large three-tier Santa pyramid.
The red and white frame is the perfect backdrop to the cute Christmas scenes on each level of the pyramid, which includes a set of Christmas soldiers and Santa’s workshop.
And German pyramids can also be simple holiday decorations, like this small rustic Santa pyramid. The natural wood frame is matched by a light wooden tree and simple red German style Santa on this seven-inch carousel-style Christmas pyramid.
Cityscape Christmas Pyramid
Although Christmas pyramids typically feature a religious scene or holiday character, some pyramids are designed to depict everyday life in Germany.
This intricate cityscape Christmas pyramid features a miniature version of the city of Dresden constructed out of wood. The city features popular Dresden architecture, a horse-drawn carriage, and simple wooden characters walking through the city.
Christmas Cat Pyramid
In addition to everyday German life, a variety of Christmas pyramids also include animals in their display.
Christmas Angels Pyramid
If angels are an integral part of your holiday celebration, you’ll love this beautiful Christmas angel pyramid, which features a group of winged angels surrounding a rustic, natural wood Christmas tree in the center.
As the blades on the top of the pyramid spin, the angels spin along a carousel in the center of the pyramid.
Three-Tier Nativity Carousel Pyramid
The nativity scene is another religious scene that appears often on Christmas pyramids. And this elaborate three-tier nativity carousel pyramid displays all the elements of the traditional Christmas tale.
The bottom and center levels spin on a carousel and feature the three wise men and a flock of sheep, while the top is adorned with stationary angels singing.
I hope you found a German Christmas Pyramid that is perfect as part of your holiday decorations.