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December 27 2012

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Es hat sich halt eröffnet, das himmlische Tor ( Now as has been opened the heavenly gate) - YouTube - Tiroler Weihnachtslied - Tyrolian Christmas Song ( no English translation available - lyrics in Tyrolian [Austria and Northern Italy] dialect - belongs to the German-Bavarian dialect group )

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http://www.volksliederarchiv.de/text5728.html

Es hat sich halt eröffnet, das himmlische Tor
die Engelein, die kugalan ganz haufenweis hervor
die Bubalan, die Madalan, die mach'n Purzigagalan
bald aufi bald abi, bald hin und bald her
bald unterschi bald überschi, das freut sie umso mehr
Halleluja, halleluja, alle, alle, alleluja

Jetzt håb ma hålt dås himmlische Gwammel erblickt
es håt uns Gott Våter an Botn zuagschickt
Wir sollten uns vereinen zum Kindlein auf die Roas
verlåssn unsre Öchslan, die Kälber und die Goaß
verlåssn unsre Öchslan, die Kälber und die Goaß

Åft sein mir nåcher gången, i und du a,
kerzengråd nåch Bethlehem, juchheißa, hopsassa.
Seppele, du Schlanggele, nimm du dei gmöstes Lampele,
und Michl, du a Henn, und Jost, du an Håhn,
und i nimm mei foasts Fakkele und renn damit davon

Geh, Veitl, mir wöllen die Gscheitern hålt sein
Wir betn 's Kindlan ån im Ochsenkrippelein
Büabale, wås mågst denn håbn, mågst eppa dechta unsre Gåbn?
Mågst Äpfl oder Birn, oder Nussn oder Kas
willst Zwötschgen oder Pflaumen oder sist a sölles Gfraß?

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Text und Musik: Die erste Strophe dieses Liedes zeichnete Karl Liebleitner (1858–1942) im Jahre 1898 vom Druckereibesitzer Hans Mößmer in Wien auf. Erstmals veröffentlicht wurde es von Franz Friedrich Kohl und Josef Reiter in der Sammlung Echte Tiroler Lieder, Bd. 1, Leipzig 1913, S. 1. Die weitere Strophen finden sich u.a. in Alpenrose (1924, dort als Volkslied aus Tirol )

December 24 2011

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Season Greetings - frohe Weihnachten~1910

December 23 2011

Catherine Yass looked deep into the canal to find the image for her Christmas wrapping paper

Concluding our series of Christmas wrapping paper designed for the Guardian by leading artists, Catherine Yass describes how she created a small miracle in the water
Download and print Catherine Yass's wrapping paper

I floated this image in the canal for a week. It's a photograph of the place where I floated it. The water peeled away the layers of emulsion within the transparency to reveal the different colours embedded in the film. There's a kaleidoscopic effect as the light dances and ripples through them – just as it did on the surface of the canal.

I thought of it for Christmas because it seems frosty, like those sparkly white lines you get on leaves in the morning in winter. And the way the image decomposed was like a small miracle.


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Catherine Yass wrapping paper

For the final day of exclusive Guardian gift wrap, Catherine Yass floated a photograph in a canal for a week to capture the frosty light on the water. Download now



December 22 2011

At this time of year, let's thank God for churches | Simon Jenkins

Believer or not, Christmas is a reminder of what these places of worship do so well – maintaining and expressing community

God has blessings, even for atheists. Chief among them is the British Christmas. Cleared of its commercial and religious clutter it has become the nation's collective version of a Buddhist sabbatical, an increasingly extended retreat into family and self almost devoid of externalities. It is a time when Britons behave quite unlike they do for the rest of the year. In other words, they behave quite well.

The preliminary clutter is ever more dire. Compared with any other city in Europe, London's decoration is tatty and hideous. The archbishop of Canterbury contributes a platitudinous musing on riots and St Paul's protesters, with no hint of meaningful conclusion. The prime minister declares desperately that "the United Kingdom is a Christian country" and that "we should not be afraid to say so", as if we were. His seasonal intervention recalls HL Mencken's maxim that "people say we need religion when what they mean is we need police".

Even Christmas shopping, once deplored as an irreligious commercialisation, has morphed into a public service duty, a dig for victory. "Hopes of Christmas boost for economy," cry the headlines. Analysts examine the returns from M&S and John Lewis like priests round sacred geese. Will Christmas save us from double-dip recession? The din of collective misery is insufferable.

Suddenly all goes quiet. Britain now stretches what in the US is one day off into 10. There seems nothing else to do. The volume of public life is silenced. Family is acknowledged before colleagues and friends. Duty is paid to household gods in an annual census of filial piety. Family quarrels are supposedly suppressed, while children and old people acquire a brief moment in the spotlight. We know of the strains and stresses of Christmas, but I wonder how many families have been repaired and rescued through its ritual kindnesses. What if there were no such moment?

Throughout history, church charity boards record the gifts to be made to the poor at Christmas time. They record the communal services to be performed, the visits to be made and donations acknowledged. Christmas is more than just a much-needed rest, it is a ceremony of domestic and communal pleasantry.

The festival may have replaced Easter in pre-eminence largely thanks to the Victorians, but it is none the worse for that. Charles Dickens' demolition of Scrooge's cynicism – A Christmas Carol is a harder-edged novel than any of its dramatised versions – captured popular imagination the world over. Like the Muslim obligation to hospitality, the Christian obligation to generosity at Christmas is near universal. It is not enforced or even formalised, but it is, and deep in Britain's cultural gene.

Millions of Britons do at Christmas what they never do at other times in the year. They become "pray-for-a-day" worshippers. They see in their church a repository of good neighbourliness without which the community would be poorer. The Anglican church has a genuine talent for sustaining this communal centrality through thick and mostly thin. This role in the local "establishment" is far more plausible than the state version.

Going to church at Christmas keeps alive a sense of what the Germans call heimat, an attachment to home and place of birth, a refreshment of roots, an acknowledgement of continuity and tradition. This Christmas is deeply conservative. As Roger Scruton argues in his forthcoming book Green Philosophy, it reflects a "desire to live among things that endure" that should, in his case, be harnessed to the challenge of climate change.

I constantly find myself in churches. I find them aesthetically appealing, a constant source of pleasure (or sometimes pain). They were designed for a liturgy of contemplation and repose. They are good places to sit and think, in a landscape where such places are in short supply. As Philip Larkin wrote, they are temples where our "compulsions are recognised and robed as destinies/ And that much never can be obsolete". This may have nothing to do with religion, but it is undeniably a religious legacy and I do not mind thanking someone's god for it. The world is full of unintended consequences.

As government continues to enervate and disempower communal life in Britain, churches retain their physical and emotional centrality. In most settlements, rural and urban, churches are hopelessly oversized for their congregations. Yet the great medieval buildings remain a dominant presence in the community, the architectural expression not just of its ageless faith, but of its ceremony, its history, its family life, its arts and crafts, its tithes and taxes. They are increasingly reborn as theatre and concert halls. Where else would one want to hear The Messiah?

The parish church is thus the one building in any neighbourhood that is worth saving, together with God's acre, the churchyard. Since there will for sure arise a movement within the church to abandon such monuments – under the cry "we are a church, not a museum" – there will be a corresponding need to champion their survival. I have no trouble with the German system of taxing parishes for the upkeep of the church (with a voluntary opt-out). The Germans, like the French and Scandinavians, enjoy a civic tradition that permits them to keep their mayors and town halls. In Britain an increasingly faithless land finds itself ironically turning to faith institutions as symbols of local cohesion. Long may such places survive. At Christmas we salute them.


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


Gillian Wearing wrapping paper

Download today's exclusive gift paper for Gillian Wearing's homage to old paintings and 1970s Milk Tray chocolate boxes …



Gillian Wearing takes inspiration from Bruegel in creating her Christmas wrapping paper

In the latest of our series of Christmas wrapping paper designed especially for the Guardian by leading artists, Gillian Wearing describes how she spent two weeks preparing her bouquet
Download and print Gillian Wearing's wrapping paper

This is a repeated pattern from a photograph I took this year. It's based on a Bruegel painting and I called it People, in homage to those old paintings in which every flower is treated like an individual. I had to source a lot of fake flowers for my bouquet, as there are plenty of bad ones on the market. I initially worked with a florist, then realised I had to do it myself – because I wanted it to look very particular. It took me two weeks; there was a lot of playing with wires and florist's foam, getting each flower to have its own space and still work as a whole.

As a pattern, it has a certain hypnotism. It almost has the shape of a Christmas tree when it's in repeat: you can't really see what it is. I didn't make this specifically for Christmas, but it makes me think of those 1970s special edition Christmas gift chocolate boxes, like Milk Tray, which were based on classical paintings of flowers or landscapes. They remind me of Christmas more than tinsel does.


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


December 21 2011

Jeremy Deller gift wrap

Each day in the runup to Christmas we have asked artists to design wrapping paper exclusively for the Guardian. Download today's gift paper by Jeremy Deller



December 20 2011

Tacita Dean wrapping paper

Continuing our series of Christmas wrapping paper designed especially for the Guardian by leading artists, Tacita Dean reveals how she reused an antique postcard

Download and print Tacita Dean's wrapping paper

This is from my found postcard collection. It's over 100 years old and German. I overpainted the Prosit Neujahr (Happy New Year) at the bottom, and painted on the red Santa hat. I like it because it doesn't really work. She looks rather uncomfortable at that angle, holding her arm up like that.

I overpaint postcards from my collection a lot. I'm not sure this sums up Christmas, but a lot of trouble went into constructing this photograph all those years ago: the backdrop, the snow – which I think must have been hand-painted black flecks on the original negative. I enjoy the artifice and invention of the pre-digital world.


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


December 19 2011

Tacita Dean wrapping paper slips into the past

Each day in the runup to Christmas we have asked artists to design wrapping paper exclusively for the Guardian. Download today's gift paper for Tacita Dean's winter scene with a twist …



Julian Opie wrapping paper steps out for Christmas

Each day in the runup to Christmas we have asked artists to design wrapping paper exclusively for the Guardian. Download today's gift paper and get Julian Opie's trademark minimalist figures walking all over those presents ...



Julian Opie: my magic-eye Christmas wrapping paper

Some of Britain's leading artists have designed Christmas wrapping paper especially for the Guardian. We're kicking off with paper featuring Julian Opie's signature figures, which the artist introduces here

Download and print Julian Opie's wrapping paper

You often see children depicted in art from the past, less so these days. I like drawing them and notice the particular ways they move and are proportioned. My son Paul, then four, his schoolmate Bibi, six in these images, and a colleague's nine-month-old baby, Dino, were drawn some 30 to 40 times to create animated paintings of moving figures. I have drawn many people walking but Paul was the first running work I made – originally as a proposal for an Olympics project I did not win. I had proposed a whole piazza of different children running on double-sided LED screens.

Dino was then drawn for a giant outdoor project in Calgary, Canada; he would have crawled under a bridge. That project morphed into a 5m-high LED tower, which will go up early next year but without any babies. I am now working on a project for the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in London. The plan was to use baby Dino in the nursery; this then expanded to include Paul in the corridors, so I needed a girl to accompany him. Bibi and her parents let me film her on my studio walking machine. I picked her because she has nice straight hair that moves in a way that's great to draw.

I often make multiple works such as mugs and fridge magnets. I prefer to make my own rather than leave museum shops to come up with rather random designs. A CD cover can be as good a place for art as a museum wall. When the Guardian asked for a wrapping paper design, I thought children would be the best subject matter. I put the drawings together in a way that was inspired by ancient Greek friezes, pots and traditional wrapping paper. Placed in a row, the repeated figures suggest movement; they could be wrapping around the Parthenon or your Christmas present. If you stare at it long enough, it can also become a magic-eye image.


guardian.co.uk © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


December 17 2010

Your shots: G2 calendar

You spotted G2 in the snow, shaved it into hair, painted it on a face, used it to protest against the cuts and even exhaled it in smoke



December 14 2010

Season's tweetings

Just click the 'tweet' button above the image of your choice and tweet it @ your intended recipient. Leave the Yfrog link in the message and the image will appear in their Twitter timeline

Rob Ryan's Christmas card

Michael Craig-Martin's Christmas card

David Shrigley's Christmas card

Sarah Lucas's Christmas card

Matt Darbyshire's Christmas card

Polly Morgan's Christmas card

Click here for printable versions of our Christmas cards
Click here to email the Christmas card gallery to your friends.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


December 12 2010

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December 10 2010

Christmas creations: Tate's trees

In pictures: For the last 23 years Tate Britain has commissioned a leading contemporary artist to create a seasonal installation



December 06 2010

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Nikolaus: probably during the 80ies at ANDECHS Monastery in Upper Bavaria
Nikolaus: wahrscheinlich in den 80iger-Jahren im Kloster Andechs, Oberbayern
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Nikolaus: probably during the 80ies at ANDECHS Monastery in Upper Bavaria
Nikolaus: wahrscheinlich in den 80iger-Jahren im Kloster Andechs, Oberbayern

December 02 2010

John Harris introduces an exhibition gathered from the long history of leftwing Christmas cards

Forget nativity scenes – John Harris introduces an exhibition gathered from the long history of leftwing Christmas cards

As far as the consumerist mainstream goes, the imagery of Christmas cards seems to have endured for aeons: snow-caked Dickensian townscapes; soft-focus scenes from the nativity; domestic pets cruelly forced to wear Santa hats. But thankfully, there is another tradition, with a lot more oomph: that of leftwing Christmas cards, which have been sent and received for longer than you might think. For sure, the idea of dispensing seasonal greetings from a radical perspective reached a peak in the bleak 1980s, when cards featuring missiles, pickets and Margaret Thatcher were being produced by the sackload – but long before, the idea of emphasising the struggle in a yuletide kind of way had been established by early socialists, Suffragettes, and many more.

This overlooked bit of our history is the subject of an exhibition put together by Llew Smith, 66, one-time MP for the Welsh Labour heartland of Blaenau Gwent, and his late wife Pam. "It all came about by accident," he says. "For 25 years, we'd get Christmas cards from comrades, and after a while, we decided to keep them, and file them away.

"Then, towards the end of my time in parliament, we began to research the whole idea of political Christmas cards. Think about people's political lives: banners, protest songs, poems, leaflets and posters have been documented, but there's a gap when it comes to Christmas cards. We wanted to rectify that."

The result is an amazing representation of the left's history, focused on more than 500 cards, many of them sourced from museums, university archives and eBay. They go from the 19th century right up to the Con-Dem era. "One of the early designers of Christmas cards described them as 'unconsidered trifles'," says Smith. "I'd rather they actually had a message."

Politics, Protest and the Christmas Card is at the People's History Museum, Manchester, from December 4 to January 6.


guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds


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