In woodwork lessons we manufacture Christmas decoration of the Erzgebirge (Ore Mountains). In our Saxon Erzgebirge the production of wood decoration and wood toys has a long tradition. When the silver occurrences of the Erzgebirge became scarce, the miners earned their living with wood goods. Today Nussknacker (nutcrackers), Räuchermännchen (incense smokers) and Schwibbögen (candle arches) are known world-wide.
The pupils of the classes 4 make own figures in woodwork lessons in the time before Christmas.
In former times, the turned light angels were put in the windows of the miners and showed the number of girls in the house. For the boys wooden miners were put.
The Schwibbogen represents the arc-shaped "mouth" of a mountain gallery. For the last shift of the year the pit lights were hung up around this entrance. The candles or lamps at the Schwibbogen remind of that tradition still today. The internal area of the arch was arranged with the image of miners and figures of the Erzgebirge in former times. Today different homeland-referred arrangements are common. Into our arches, we worked in the church of our home village with the fretsaw.
The pattern for the schwibbogen of Pretzschendorf can be downloaded here
The laterns of wood, pasted inside with coloured tracing paper, were carried on the way into the Christmas church. In our area, they are shining in the windows in Christmas time.