Advent Calendar: December 11

The next Christmas Advent Calendar takes us to Leipzig and to the Christmas tree located in the market square. Taken by Ute Loose, the tree depicts angels circling it and singing songs of joy, honoring Baby Jesus. Leipzig has become an up and coming city, being the fastest growing city in Germany. With over 600,000 inhabitants, it’s the largest city in Saxony, but combining it with neighboring Halle in Saxony-Anhalt, it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the former East, competing with the likes of Berlin, Magdeburg, Erfurt and Rostock with 800,000 inhabitants in total.

Both Leipzig and Halle have very fancy Christmas Markets with a historic setting, yet the one in Leipzig covers virtually all of the city center, Stadtmitte, and includes different themes, such as local culture, international flair and of course what is typical for Saxony with the incense figures, pyramids and especially the Schwibbogen (Christmas Arch). 

And yes, the Christmas surprise deals with this particular classic which can be found on the window of every home in Saxony.  Click here and enjoy the exercises, especially for your tongue. 😉

I wrote about Leipzig’s Christmas market in 2015 and you can read about it here. It’s one to recommend once the Corona epidemic is over with. 🎄⛪🌨️🍵☕🏔️

Tongue Twister: German Words with a Schwip!

There is an old saying that applies to expatriates living in Germany: You are not fully integrated unless you know about the Schwibbogen. 😉 Also known as the Christmas Arch, the Schwibbogen (nicknamed as Schwibbie) are popular in the country, especially out east where every window of every house and appartment are decorated with these lighted arches featuring several different murals. I did a quiz on the Schwibbogen and is one that I would highly recommend using in the classroom. Check it out by clicking here.


After publishing the quiz in 2018 there was one idea that came to mind and that had something to do with tongue twisters. Being the master of tongue-twisting exercises in English (check it out by clicking here), I was amazed to discover over thousands of words that started with the consonants SCHW- in German. This goes well beyond a popular product in German aside from the Schwibbie, the Schwip-Schwap Cola, found mostly in the south of Germany. 😉

My question was whether I can put together a good tongue twister in that particular language. I tried the experiment and realized that it was indeed “machbar.” After experimenting this with my German-speaking students, I also found it to be extremely funny. 😀

Therefore I have compiled a series of tongue twisters for students learning German to practice. Believe it or not, after watching and practicing these tongue twisters, your mouth will have felt like it was stuck in a bottle of Schwip-Schwap. Just make sure it’s not the bottle of your Schwagger (brother/sister in-law) 😉

This is the video version of the tongue twister:

However, you can use the photo gallery below, which you can display on your screen for students to see and try out. 🙂

Nonetheless, enjoy and feel free to use it or pass it around. 🙂

Happy Holidays 🎄⛄🕯️🕯️❄️🌨️🏂😊☕⛪🎁☃️❤️