Christmas traditions dictate that people must eat a nutcracker decoration to symbolize the passage of time and the end of the old year. nutcracker ballet ornaments are usually crafted out of wood or porcelain. A less common Christmas tradition says that drinking from a glass with a crack in it will bring good luck and fond memories for the New Year
The History of Nutcracker Ballet Ornaments
In 17th-century Germany, people made wooden nutcrackers as part of their celebrations for St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. Their craftsmen were famous and they were called Nussknackers, which means “nut crackers” in German. Nutcrackers symbolized the passage of time. They are usually crafted out of wood or porcelain. A less common Christmas tradition says that drinking from a glass with a crack in it will bring good luck and fond memories for the New Year.
The superstition about drinking from a glass with a crack originated in England where there are many theories as to how this originates. One is that it was practiced by the famous English actor Sir John Falstaff who was known to drink from a glass with a crack in it – another theory is that the “crack” in the glass was a result of years of banging, which would make a very loud sound. Another theory is that this came about as a way of saying “Have another crack,” because drinking through a small space (through a little hole), was in those days often done by people.
The History of the Nutcracker Doll
The European tradition of the nutcracker-doll dates back to the 16th century when German doll makers created Nutcracker dolls as part of their St. Nicholas Day celebrations, which were very similar to our modern Christmas eve traditions. The earliest known descriptions of these dolls come from Germany in circa 1580 and 1585 where they were made as wooden figures or wood carvings.
Early in the 18th century, a German company known as the Heubach Doll Company invented a mechanical doll that incorporated nuts and crackers into its design. This doll was produced from 1791 to 1872, with it popularly becoming a children’s toy in France and England after the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1845, German toy maker Hans Friederich Gottlieb Morgenstern produced a wood nutcracker that has become the most popular toy of Christmas. The toy was produced in a number of model types and became known as the “Nussknacker”.
The popularity of the nutcracker continued to grow in Europe, but by 1900 it was rare to see a nutcracker figure outside of Germany. The nutcrackers made today have lost most of their original meaning and have become symbols of Christmas. The tradition continued to spread, and today, even though they are no longer used for cracking nuts, people still enjoy them as decorations and items that are given as gifts.