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Angels & Figures

Angels & Figures

It was one of the traditional "duties" of every Ore Mountain man, when he became a father, to carve a miner or an angel for his child. The miner for a son and the angel for a daughter.

 At Christmas time, the "fifth season" in the Ore Mountains, these figures were placed in windows and so passers-by could see how many children there were in the house.

The figures also had, however, another purpose and thus became a symbol for the region. When miners went to the pit early in the morning, it was still dark, especially in the winter months. Likewise, it was dark in the mine itself and their place of work was only dimly lit. When their long shift was over the moon was already in the sky. In order to light the way for their menfolk in the dark winter's night, the women placed the Light Miner (Lichterbergmann) and the Light Angel (Lichterengel), as the figures were called, in the windows.

The angel became a symbolic figure for the pious mining folk of the Ore Mountains. The angels acted as guardians and light-bearers on the dark and difficult road into the mine. In some versions,the wooden angels holding candles represented miners’ wives waiting for them to get home.

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