“Nikolausabend” celebrates Christmas the German way

With the holiday season fast approaching, Southern Oregon University’s German Club is among the first to kick off December with Nikolausabend, a traditional German Christmas celebration.

“This is simply a time for the community to get together, free of charge, and enjoy wonderful German food, great cultural music, and have some good conversation,” said Dianna Richardson, an SOU student and president of the German Club.

The group died out during the last few years, but this year’s club members are putting a lot of effort into bringing the club back, with meetings every Friday. In hopes of starting this year off with a bang, Richardson describes the event as a casual social holiday celebration that is open to everyone.

“We will be celebrating the German version of Christmas,” says Richardson. “Every year on December 5, Germans celebrate Nikolausabend, in which children of the community put out their boots in hopes that Saint Nikolaus will fill them with treats. We want to bring this wonderful part of Germany to campus, so that the community can experience German culture in its fullest.”

Along with her fellow club members, Richardson has arranged for 12 singers, a pianist, and several other musicians to perform at the event, along with readings of German poetry. Authentic German desserts and snacks will be provided as well. Richardson also mentioned that they will hopefully be able to serve a German favorite called Glühwein, a tasty fermented spiced beverage.

Although the event is free to all who attend, Richardson said there will be a donation box for those who want to help fund this years German club activities. She said she hopes they can get enough donations to be able to host another community event like this one.

“We are just hoping for a big turn out,” said Richardson. “And we are doing everything we can to increase visibility for our club and this event.”

Nikolausabend is open to all SOU students and faculty, as well as Ashland community members. Southern Oregon has a large German community, and Richardson hopes to see many German-speakers attending the event.

“We want people to know about us, and we want to start this year’s German Club with a bang, so we hope the attendance to Nikolausabend will be high,” Richardson says.

Nikolausabend will be in the Diversions Nightclub of the Stevenson Union on Dec. 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Although the event is free, donations are encouraged, the proceedings to benefit SOU’s German Club. For more information about Nikolausabend or about joining the German Club, contact German Club President Dianna Richardson at  richarddi@sou.edu.

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