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Joseph knew that Israel is a much warmer place than Austria, and that it probably wasn't snowing in Bethlehem on the night that Jesus was born. But he suddenly felt that the night that Jesus was born must have been quiet and peaceful, too, with almost everyone asleep and with a special star brightening the sky. While he was thinking of this, he thought up the words to a song about Christmas.

When he got home, he wrote down the words. The next day was already Christmas eve. He took the words to his friend Franz Gruber. Franz was the village schoolmaster and also the organist at the church. He wrote some music for the words, and gave it to Joseph that same day. That night, even though the organ was still broken, there was still something special for Christmas. When the people came to church that night, they heard a guitar, two solo voices, and a chorus singing a new Christmas carol, a carol that since that time has become one of the most loved and most sung Christmas carols in the world:

Silent night, holy night; all is calm; all is bright 'round yon Virgin, mother and child. Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.

A familiar non-religious christmas carol

This is a traditional German carol of unknown origin. The words and tune are in the public domain . Feel free to copy this arrangement under the Creative Commons license terms. Once again, the accompaniment and translation are simplified. Because this song is so repetitive, and because the German lyrics don't translate into English well, this is a very good carol to try to sing in German. Again, the simplified "pronunciation" is neither standard-symbols nor completely accurate, but, for most English speakers, should result in a "close-enough" pronunciation.

Page 1 and page 2 of "O Tannenbaum" are available to download as PDF files. You can also copy the figures below, but the PDF files will give nicer-looking handouts.

O tannenbaum

Christmas traditions from germany

Some favorite christmas decorations came from germany

This activity goes well with learning "O Tannenbaum". Plan an art or craft project involving Christmas trees or wreaths. (There should be several suitable suggestions in any Christmas arts and crafts book.) While the students are doing the project, tell them that many of our Christmas decorating traditions also began in Germany. Because of the high latitude (closeness to the north pole), winters in central and northern Europe are long and cold and dark. Before there were electric lights and central heating, people were always very happy to see the spring come again, and even the winter solstice, when the daylight stopped getting shorter and started getting longer, was a time to celebrate. Even before Christianity spread to middle and northern Europe, there was a tradition of decorating the house at midwinter with any plant that seemed to conquer the winter by staying green all year. Holly, ivy, and mistletoe were all popular, but boughs from evergreen trees were especially popular.

One thing that helped Christianity spread through Europe was that it sometimes adopted old customs that people liked and gave them a new, Christian meaning. Decorating with trees and other greenery is one of those customs. Evergreen trees have been popular Christmas decorations in Germany since at least the fifteen hundreds, and maybe earlier. The tradtition of putting up Christmas trees, wreaths, and other greens, was brought to the United States by German immigrants in the 1700's.

The earliest Christmas trees were decorated with fruit, nuts, and sugar candies. In those days, taking down the Christmas tree, on "twelfth night", was a very popular activity, because then the children got to eat the treats that had been on the tree! Trees lit with candles have also been very popular in Germany, but the electric lights we use today are much safer.

Questions & Answers

what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
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Bharti
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Damian Reply
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s. Reply
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are you nano engineer ?
s.
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
Tarell
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
Damian
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
Tarell
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Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
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is Bucky paper clear?
CYNTHIA
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s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Harper
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
s.
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SUYASH Reply
for screen printed electrodes ?
SUYASH
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s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
Ebrahim
or in general
Ebrahim
in general
s.
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Cied
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Source:  OpenStax, Musical travels for children. OpenStax CNX. Jan 06, 2010 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10221/1.11
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