According to German folklore, nutcrackers were given as keepsakes to bring good luck to the family and protect the home. The legend says that a nutcracker represents power and strength and serves like a trusty watch dog guarding the family from evil spirits and danger. A fierce protector, the nutcracker bares its teeth to the evil spirits and serves as the traditional messenger of good luck and goodwill.
The region known as Erzgebirge, a mountainous mining area which at one time was part of East Germany, was rich in gold,
silver, tin, cobalt, and uranium, as well as timber which was needed to support the ceilings of the mines. As the metal
supply dwindled, many families were forced to turn to the trade of wood-working. Wood carvings, used as souvenirs, gifts
and for religious purposes, were popular since the 11th century. The lathe became readily accepted by the people in this
forest area and furthered the development of the art. Thus a new trade of wood-turning was established in the 15th and
16th century under the rule of Elector August the Strong of Saxony.
It became so popular that a decree was published permitting wood-carving to only be performed by native craftsmen and their families.
Holly Wreath is pleased to take part in continuing this tradition, by offering a large selection of German Nutcrackers, which are still produced in the Erzgebirge region.