INTRO - researching askenazic winter folk traditions #germany

Milo Axelrod <miloaxelrod@...>

Hello GerSig,

I just joined the group. My family has been doing genealogy research
for ~10 years, but I consider myself to be a beginner in doing German
Jewish Genealogy research. I live in the Hudson Valley, New York. My
native language is English. I consider myself an expert in using a
computer, and my experience in using the Internet is extensive. We
have identified the names and birth and death dates of all of my
grandparents, all of my great grandparents and most of my great great

My primary research goals now are to rediscover the ashkenazic winter
folk traditions of my family and of the regions my family is from
that were lost in the process of emigration and assimilation.

Pagan winter holiday traditions (like the making and hanging of wreathes,
decorating with holly and mistletoe, the tradition of giving gifts,
green and red, caroling, etc) in the US are mainly considered to just
be "winter traditions" by the general public, when they are actually
Pagan in origin - a history that many secular Americans can relate to,
but not Ashkenazim.

Its very frustrating to be told over and over that I should be able to
relate to and appreciate these things when I do not. This year during
my annual month-long frustration I refer to as "December", I realized
that much of that discomfort is because these types of traditions are
wholly missing >from my family. We have the culinary and musical
traditions, but the traditional decorations and activities equivalent
to the pagan ones I mentioned above are missing. (And let's be real,
commercialized Hanukkah traditions do not count.)

I have family originating from:
- Gerabronn, Germany (near Frankfurt)
- Checiny, Poland (near Krakow)
- Chernivtsi, Ukraine (close to Romania)
- Odesa, Ukraine

If anyone has information or stories about traditions like this from
these regions, please reach out. Thanks so much!

Milo Axelrod, New Paltz, New York

MODERATOR NOTE: Please reply off-list to miloaxelrod@...
This question is off-topic to Gen. research

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