Weckmann | Word of the Week | DW | 12.11.2013
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Word of the Week


His life usually ends with more than just a torn off arm.

He's got a good figure, his dark eyes look friendly. He doesn't exactly have a mouth, but rather, a pipe. And that's not all: He smells amazing and tastes even better. It's a joy to bite into his arms and pluck out his eyes with your fingers.

What sounds like cannibalism is actually a German tradition. It's not about real people but a dough figure baked to perfection. A Wecken is a baked good made of flour, salt, yeast, and water.

The Weckmann, as he's called in Rhineland, is a treat children receive from beginning of November for St. Martin's Day until the beginning of December for St. Nicholas' Day. He can be found at most bakeries during this timeframe.

Those who live in other regions in Germany may not always understand if you order a Weckmann. Elsewhere, the little guy has other names: Stutenkerl in Lower Saxony, Kiepenkerl in Westfalia. In southern Germany he's Dambedei or Klausemann.

Regardless of what he's called, he pairs nicely with a mug of hot cocoa or mulled wine after a long winter walk.

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