Friday, November 27, 2009

Homestead Holiday Traditions German Style

Homestead National Monument remembers the holiday traditions of people who lived on the Great Plains during the homesteading period with decorated trees and tabletop displays featuring ornaments and hand-made crafts that reflect the spirit of hopefulness, forbearance, [and longing for home-holidays passed] which typified settlers of the West. According to Superintendent Mark Engler “The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures brings to life the traditions of the homesteaders who came here to settle the United States.”
The Winter Festival of Prairie Cultures begins the month long celebration with Die Singenden Wanderer (Singing Wanderers), a men's choir which sings in both German and English. The songs are more often than not light hearted and lively, sharing the significance of time-honored German beliefs and customs. The choir takes pleasure in carrying this spirited singing to the community and other venues such as Homestead, including numerous performances at the German American Society in Omaha. “We were born in Germany and in the United States. Regardless of our birthplace, we are all proud to be Americans, while are still carrying on the customs and traditions of the German language and culture” stated Harold Chester, the choir’s Pressewarte (Press Agent).

“What better way to share culture than through song” asked Mark Engler? “Homestead Monument is very excited to host such a group especially in such a predominantly German settled area.” While listening to the German songs visitors can enjoy the decorations from many countries including Germany.

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