In Germany, December is full of festivities, cultural events, artistic offerings and parties of every shape and form - from Christmas markets, to musicals, exhibitions and New Year's Eve celebrations.
The month of musicals
Cirque de Soleil has prepared a memorial to Michael Jackson. With the Immortal World Tour, the Canadian circus group will be performing this December in Mannheim, Leipzig, Hamburg, Cologne and Berlin. Michael Jackson song feature in the show, but with a new twist. His legendary dance steps, including the moonwalk, can be seen in a spectacular setting together with theater and acrobatics. Organizers promise a "captivating blend of visuals, dance, music and fantasy." The King of Pop, who died in 2009, continues to influence pop culture like no other. Songs like "Thriller," "Billie Jean" or "Bad" have become classics around the world.
The King of Pop performing in 1984
Do something crazy
And another musical is opening on December 5: "Ich war noch niemal in New York" (I've never been to New York) by Udo Jürgens, at the Stage Metronom Theater in North Rhine-Westphalia. For the last few decades, Udo Jürgens, has been one of the most successful entertainers in the German-speaking world, and this musical contains his most popular songs. It tells the story of an elderly couple who, on a whim, set off on a cruise ship to get married in New York. When their children and grandchildren learn of their plan, they follow after them.
Humans and machines
A so-called kinetic sculpture has confronted visitors to Cologne's Ludwig Museum for many years. The talking raven by artist Andreas Fischer has become something of an icon. And so a solo exhibition by machine artist Fischer has been long overdue. From December 1, the museum will be displaying a retrospective of his work. Fischer builds motorized sculptures out of various materials, tools and old furniture. Some of them can even speak, parodying the relationship between humans and machines. The show is a bizarre combination, appropriately titled "Your Time is My Rolex."
Siegen, a town in the middle of Germany is known by many Germans as a place where you don't really want to live. Jokingly, of course. Actually Siegen is a gem - especially if you look at the art scene. The Museum of Contemporary Art has made a name for itself far beyond Siegen and regularly presents interesting exhibitions.In December, the exhibition "Dear Aby Warburg, What Can Be Done with Images?" pays homage to the great art historian who turned culture and science on its head at the end of the 19th century. In his famous "Picture Atlas" he showed, among other things, how ancient Greece lived on in European culture, especially during the Renaissance. Twenty-two young photographers have contemplated Warburg's work - and the results are impressive.
'Tis the season
As the month of December is upon us and Advent begins, practically every German town has its own Christmas market. Mulled wine, crafts, Christmas decorations and delicious food lure locals and tourists alike in the weeks before Christmas. But many markets also have a special theme. There are toy markets, alternative Christmas markets, medieval and even harbor Christmas markets. Those best known outside of Germany can be found in Munich, Nuremberg and Dresden. The scent of roasted almonds, gingerbread, cinnamon and especially mulled wine wafts through the air. After all, a Christmas market without this hot, sweet drink is unimaginable.
Nuremberg's Christkindlmarkt is a big tourist draw
A must for any traveler in Berlin is celebrating the New Year on one of the most famous avenues in the world - between the Brandenburg Gate and Victory Column. The festive boulevard over two kilometers long and features stages, screens, party tents and plenty of restaurants. The giant festival attracts over a million visitors to the capital every year. Performing on the stages are international stars, whose names aren't announced until shortly before the event. And last but certainly not least, the fireworks are truly breathtaking.