why do we have gingerbread houses at christmas

The gingerbread bakers were gathered into professional baker guilds. In many European countries gingerbread bakers were a distinct component of the bakers' guild. Gingerbread baking developed into an acknowledged profession. In the 17th century only professional gingerbread bakers were permitted to bake gingerbread except at Christmas and Easter, when anyone was allowed to bake it. In Europe gingerbreads were sold in special shops and at seasonal markets that sold sweets and gingerbread shaped as hearts, stars, soldiers, babies, riders, trumpets, swords, pistols and animals. Gingerbread was especially sold outside churches on Sundays. Religious gingerbread reliefs were purchased for the particular religious events, such as Christmas and Easter. The decorated gingerbreads were given as presents to adults and children, or given as a love token, and bought particularly for weddings, where gingerbreads were distributed to the wedding guests. A gingerbread relief of the patron saint was frequently given as a gift on a person's, the day of the saint associated with his or her given name. It was the custom to bake biscuits and paint them as window decorations. The most intricate gingerbreads were also embellished with iced patterns, often using colours, and also gilded with.


Gingerbread was also worn as a talisman in battle or as protection against evil spirits. major centers of gingerbread mould carvings included, Nuremberg, Prague, Ulm, and. Gingerbread moulds often displayed actual happenings, by portraying new rulers and their consorts, for example. Substantial mould collections are held at the Ethnographic Museum in Toruф,
and the Bread Museum in Ulm, Germany. During the winter months medieval gingerbread pastries, usually dipped in wine or other alcoholic beverages, were consumed. In America, the German-speaking communities of Pennsylvania and Maryland continued this tradition until the early 20th century. The tradition survived in colonial North America, where the pastries were baked as cookies and gained favour as Christmas tree decorations. The tradition of making decorated gingerbread houses started in Germany in the early 1800s. According to certain researchers, the first gingerbread houses were the result of the well-known 's fairy tale " in which the two children abandoned in the forest found an edible house made of bread with sugar decorations. After this book was published, German bakers began baking ornamented fairy-tale houses of (gingerbread). These became popular during Christmas, a tradition that came to America with Pennsylvanian German immigrants.


According to other food historians, the Grimm brothers were speaking about something that already existed. Like most Christmas traditions, gingerbread houses are big business: Wilton, a popular confectionery-making company, that it created over two million gingerbread house kits in 2011. For those who are more DIY-inclined, domestic gurus from Martha Stewart on down recipes and plans for making your own sugary domicile. But in spite of gingerbread house-decorating s cozy holiday connotations, the roots of this tradition may lie in the folktale Hansel and Gretel. Now, gingerbread houses didn t start with the Brothers Grimm. They date back to the 1600s, a few centuries after the emergence of gingerbread itself, food historian Tori Avey. The tale of Hansel and Gretel may be even older than that, some historians say, perhaps dating to a 14th century famine in which parents turned children out to fend for themselves. By the time folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm composed and published a version of the tale in the early 19th century, gingerbread houses were a long-standing tradition. Somewhere along the way, possibly because of historical connections between gingerbread and religious ceremonies or guilds, gingerbread and gingerbread houses had become associated with Christmas.


The Grimms s helped to popularize gingerbread houses, leaving many with the belief that gingerbread houses started with the Grimms's version of the tale. Given its link with the gruesome fairytale, which involves two children almost getting cooked and eaten by a witch who lives in a gingerbread house before they turn the tables and cook her, it might seem surprising that the gingerbread house is still connected to Christmas. But today s family-friendly holiday has numerous roots in the of earlier times. Early German settlers brought this lebkuchenhaeusl e gingerbread house tradition to the Americas, Barbara Rolek for The Spruce. Today, are an both nationally and in different parts of the country, and landmarks like the have been recreated using the spicy dough. The gingerbread house-building contests in the United States today do bear some resemblance to the gingerbread fairs that were hosted by some cities in England and France during the Middle Ages and later, Amanda Fiegl for Smithsonian. com. Although the origin of these fairs was simply that gingerbread was a tasty and ubiquitous medieval treat, it did offer an opportunity to get together and enjoy a delicious treat and what could be more Christmassy than that?

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