Year 8 German Gingerbread Houses

As is Girls Grammar tradition, junior German students decorated gingerbread houses in preparation for the festive season. Students worked in groups of two or three to construct the walls and roof of their house, then iced it and decorated it with colourful lollies.

The tradition of decorating gingerbread houses began in Germany in the early 1800s, supposedly popularised after the not-so-festive fairytale of Hansel and Gretel was published in 1812. The Grimms’ original fairy tale includes the line: ‘When they came nearer they saw that the house was built of bread, and roofed with cakes, and the window was of transparent sugar’. (In later versions it became gingerbread, rather than just bread). Inspired by the story, German bakers began to craft small, decorated houses from Lebkuchen, or spiced honey biscuits.

The modern tradition of making gingerbread houses has become a family event, and gingerbread houses are ubiquitous at Christmas markets in Europe. In some small way, we brought a bit of Europe to Spring Hill in our German classes this week.

Ms Susan Garson
Director of the Centre for School-wide Pedagogy, German Teacher