Rick Steves' European Christmas   View more episodes

Aired at 03:00 AM on Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010 (12/15/2010)      View all transcripts from this day

Transcript

00:00:00Over 250 citiesand 40 countries, including one you'll never et.
00:00:09We know why you fly.
00:00:11We're american airlines.
00:00:13And by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you.
00:00:23Hi, I'm rick steves, and it's christmas time in europe.
00:00:25From manger scenes to mistletoe from norway to rome, we're celebrating all over the continent.
00:00:32Buon Natale!
00:00:33Froehliche Weihnachten!
00:00:34Joyeux Noel!
00:00:35Merry christmas!
00:00:36And thanks for joining us.
00:00:37[ background orchestra plays "Joy to the World" ] In melting pot america, christmas is celebrated year after year with traditions that came over on the boat with our ancestors.
00:01:10In this holiday special, we're traveling back to the old country, to places of rich variety and deep roots.
00:01:16We'll explore the history behind our much-loved traditions.
00:01:19Joining friends and families across europe, we'll discover a christmas that's both familiar and different.
00:01:28England is filled with voices singing in the season.
00:01:32The short days around the solstice bring norwegians out to celebrate the light of christmas.
00:01:38Families, friends, and food are the centerpiece of the french noel.
00:01:43An angelic christmas presence fills germany and austria with magical wonder.
00:01:49Italy reveals the sacred nature of the season, from its countryside to its holiest shrines.
00:01:55Nature in all its wintry glory seems to shout out the joy of the season in switzerland.
00:02:01And everywhere christmas is celebrated with family, including my own, as together, europe remembers the quiet night that that holiest family came to be.
00:02:14While each european culture gives christmas its own special twist, they all follow the same story of how the son of god was born on earth, as told in the bible and illustrated over the centuries by great artists.
00:02:29The christmas story begins with the annunciation: An angel sent from god with a message for a young woman whose name was mary.
00:02:38And the angel said, "'fear not, for thou shalt bring forth a son, "'and you will name him jesus.
00:02:45"'And he shall be called the son of the most high '" "and it came to pass, "that there went out a decree from caesar augustus, "that all the world should be taxed.
00:03:00"And joseph, a carpenter from nazareth, "went to bethlehem to be taxed, "with mary, who was expecting a child.
00:03:08"And while they were there, "she brought forth her firstborn son "and laid him in a manger "because there was no room in the inn.
00:03:17"In that region, there were shepherds, "keeping watch over their flocks by night.
00:03:20"An angel of the lord came to them, and said, "'fear not, for behold, "'i bring you good tidings of great joy.
00:03:27"'For unto you is born on this day in the city of david, ' "and suddenly there was a multitude of angels 'glory to god in the highest, ' "and the shepherds said, 'let us go to bethlehem,' "where they found mary and joseph " now, after jesus was born, there also came wise men.
00:03:56And a glorious star, which they saw in the east, went before them.
00:04:02Guiding them, it stood over where the child was.
00:04:04The wise men knelt down and worshipped the child, pp gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
00:04:11The long-awaited messiah had arrived.
00:04:39This is the story that christians have celebrated through the ages.
00:04:42We don't really know on which day jesus was born.
00:04:45Historians argue it was likely in the spring, " but, in the 4th century, a pope declared december 25 to be the official birthday of jesus.
00:04:56Why that date?
00:04:56Christianity was newly legal in the roman empire, and the clever pope figured it would be smart if the biggest christian festival winter solstice.
00:05:06And throughout the land, people -- christians celebrating the birth of the son and pagans celebrating the return of the sun -- have been rejoicing ever since.
00:05:19For scenes straight out of a box of old-fashioned christmas cards, we head to england, to the city of bath.
00:05:28Here, in the heart of the old town near the magnificent medieval abbey, bath hosts an annual christmas market.
00:05:42Woman: Hello.
00:05:43An old wine, please.
00:05:50Carols are a deeply ingrained part of the english christmas tradition.
00:05:54The custom goes back to shakespeare's day.
00:05:56Today, young and old sing their way through the season.
00:05:59Here the bath abbey choir of boys and men are performing a carol concert by candlelight.
00:06:06[ choir singing "Oh, Holy Night" ] [ introduction to light, staccato melody ] [ choir singing ] As is the case just about anywhere, it's in the countryside that families celebrate christmas in the most down-to-earth style.
00:08:01My friends maddy and paul and their kids, theo and leila, are looking for a living tree, which they'll decorate and then plant at home.
00:08:10That the right size?
00:08:12...With the fairy on top?
00:08:15Brilliant. I like it.
00:08:16It's a new twist on an old tradition, with a wink to the nature-worshiping pagans who once haunted these parts.
00:08:25Decorating with greens goes back to the druids who adorned their temples with swags of evergreen.
00:08:31For pagans, living greens in the dead of winter represented the persistence of life.
00:08:36And for christians, evereminder of the gift of everlasting life.
00:08:43During this hectic season, getting together to bake christmas goodies while the little ones decorate edible ornaments, is a fine way for busy mums to enjoy some time together.
00:08:53Maddy's recipe for mince pies harkens back to the days of henry viii.
00:08:56Back then, the dried fruits, spices, and shredded meat for the filling were so expensive that only the wealthy could afford to make a mince pie.
00:09:05According to tradition, 12 pies should be eaten during the 12 days of christmas to ensure good luck each month of the coming year.
00:09:13Woman: Don't let me forget those mince pies, maddy.
00:09:15But it's the christmas pudding that's the real centerpiece of a traditional english holiday meal.
00:09:20This is christmas pudding, and it's made with lots of very special ingredients that in days gone by, they used to be very expensive.
00:09:27And you know you call it "figgy pudding" because they used to have lots of figs in it.
00:09:32But it ud to be made in elizabethan times, and we all have, because it's so special, an extra big stir and an extra big wish.
00:09:39Kids: ♪♪ Now bring us some figgy pudding.
00:09:40♪♪
00:09:42 ♪♪
00:09:45 ♪♪
00:09:48 ♪♪♪♪
00:09:52put this one up here.
00:09:55Like a lot of us, maddy and paul are opting for a simpler, less commercial style of christmas, and that's reflected in their family traditions.
00:10:03Little theos and leilas wouldn't always have been so involved in the family activities.
00:10:07Childhood as we know it really began IN 19th-CENTURY ENGLAND WITH THE NEW MIDDLE Class.
00:10:13And at christmas those stern victorians gave themselves permission to indulge their children.
00:10:19[ talks indistinctly ] The english tradition of caroling starts very young.
00:10:22We're visiting theo's school as the students take center stage AT THE 14th-CENTURY VILLAGE CHURCH For a very special christmas concert.
00:10:29[ children singing to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" ] ..This is the road to bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:35♪♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪♪
00:10:38♪♪ we're going to be taxed in bethlehem, ♪♪
00:10:41♪♪ bethlehem, bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:43♪♪ we're going to be taxed in bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:46♪♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪♪
00:10:50♪♪ where should we stay in bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:53♪♪ bethlehem, bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:55♪♪ where should we stay in bethlehem ♪♪
00:10:58 ♪♪
00:11:02♪♪ there is no place in bethlehem, ♪♪
00:11:04♪♪ bethlehem, bethlehem ♪♪
00:11:07♪♪ there is no place in bethlehem ♪♪
00:11:10♪♪ on a cold and frosty morning ♪♪♪♪
00:11:15[ applause ] [ children singing "Jingle Bells" ] Christmas is drawing near, and tonight these lucky kids are taking a train through the woods to meet santa, or as the english know him, father christmas.
00:11:32Man: Come on in now.
00:11:34Come on in and stand just there.
00:11:36And you stand just there.
00:11:37You come across there. that's right.
00:11:40Tell me your names.
00:11:42Now, what's your name?
00:11:43Dillon. hello.
00:11:45What's your name?
00:11:46Kate.
00:11:47And what's your name?
00:11:49Jack.
00:11:49Well done! now then, most important.
00:11:51What doyouwant for christmas?
00:11:54I don't know.
00:11:55Just some surprises.
00:11:57I'm very good at surprises.
00:11:58And what do you want?
00:12:01Well, I haven't writ my list out yet.
00:12:04So we're going to wait for your list, and when it comes, I'll be ready for it.
00:12:09Now, are you going to do something for me?
00:12:11Are you going to leave me something on christmas eve?
00:12:14Child: Yes!
00:12:15What are you going to leave me?
00:12:17Mince pies and wine!
00:12:18And are you going to leave a carrot for the reindeer?
00:12:22Yeah. yes!
00:12:23We'll check back with theo and leila on christmas eve.
00:12:26And what was your name, darling?
00:12:28..
00:12:31While children on their best behavior ask santa for the toy of their dreams, my wish right now is a chance to hear one of finest chamber choirs in england, the sixteen, filling a church with timeless sounds of the season.
00:12:44Woman soloist: ♪♪ The holly and the ivy ♪♪
00:12:47♪♪ are trees that's both well-known ♪♪
00:12:50♪♪ of all the trees that grow in woods ♪♪
00:12:54♪♪ the holly bears the crown ♪♪
00:12:56Chorus: ♪♪ The rising of the sun ♪♪
00:13:00♪♪ the running of the deer ♪♪
00:13:03♪♪ the playing of the merry harp ♪♪
00:13:06♪♪ sweet singing in the choir ♪♪
00:13:10Male soloist: ♪♪ The holly bears a bark ♪♪
00:13:14♪♪ as bitter as any gall ♪♪
00:13:17♪♪ and mary bore sweet jesus christ ♪♪
00:13:21♪♪ for to redeem us all ♪♪
00:13:25Chorus: ♪♪ The rising of the sun ♪♪
00:13:28♪♪ the running of the deer ♪♪
00:13:31♪♪ the playing of the merry harp ♪♪
00:13:34♪♪ sweet singing in the choir ♪♪
00:13:37Woman soloist: ♪♪ The holly and the ivy ♪♪
00:13:42♪♪ are trees that's both well-known ♪♪
00:13:45♪♪ of all the trees that grow in woods ♪♪
00:13:49♪♪ the holly bears the crown ♪♪
00:13:52Chorus: ♪♪ The rising of the sun ♪♪
00:13:56♪♪ the running of the deer ♪♪
00:13:59♪♪ the playing of the merry harp ♪♪
00:14:02♪♪ sweet singing in the choir ♪♪♪♪
00:14:09leaving the tranquility of the english countryside behind, london offers christmas fun fit for a queen and streets twinkling with joy.
00:14:33There's magic in the air.
00:14:34..is that snow?
00:14:37Here in trafalgar square, in the heart of the city, a winter wonderland has been created just for the day.
00:14:46[ exclaiming ] [ laughing ] It's a lovely snowy day, isn't it?
00:14:54Father christmas has dropped by for the wintry fun, and london's town crier is in fine form as he passes out mince pies and holiday cheer.
00:15:08Nearby at somerset house, once a grand palace, the courtyard has been transformed into an ice-skating rink, elegant enough to make a commoner feel like royalty.
00:15:29At covent garden, shoppers can find classic toys for tots at benjamin pollock's famous toy shop, IN BUSINESS SINCE THE 1880s.
00:15:45The joy and peace of the christmas season bring both people and countries together.
00:15:50This giant spruce, a gift from the citizens of oslo, is a reminder of the friendship forged between britain and norway during world war ii.
00:16:00And norway is where we're headed next.
00:16:03Here in small-town norway, christmas is celebrated with a unique intimacy and a scandinavian flair for community.
00:16:10We're in drobak, about an hour south of oslo.
00:16:14While it's norway's self-proclaimed capital of christmas, drobak feels like any idyllic town on a fjord.
00:16:23IT'S SANTA LUCIA DAY, DECEMBER 13th, One of the darkest days of winter and an important part of the scandinavian christmas season.
00:16:30All over nordic europe, little candle-bearing santa lucias are bringing light to the middle of winter and the promise of the return of summer.
00:16:40These processions are led by a young lucia wearing a crown of lights.
00:16:44[ children singing "Santa Lucia" in Norwegian ] ..santa lucia ♪♪
00:16:56♪♪ santa lucia ♪♪♪♪
00:17:00[ applause ] This home has housed widows and seniors for over 200 years, and today the kindergarteners are bringing on the light in more ways than one.
00:17:10Ave baked the traditional santa lucia saffron buns -- the same ones these seniors baked when they were kindergarteners.
00:17:18Taking their cue from santa lucia, norwegians, cozy in their homes, brighten their long, dark winters with lots of candles, white lights -- you'll never see a colored one-- and lots of greenery.
00:17:32In norway, as in the rest of europe, pagan symbols -- like the evergreen tree -- survive disguised as christmas traditions.
00:17:39The same is true with this sprig of mistletoe.
00:17:43In scandinavia, it's associated with the viking goddess of love.
00:17:46For celtic people, it was a sacred plant.
00:17:48They used it to heal the sick and enhance fertility.
00:17:51For most of us, it's just a handy excuse to steal a little christmas kiss.
00:17:56 mmmm the norwegian spirit of christmas extends even to the departed.
00:18:03Candles flicker in graveyards as filies remember lost loved ones.
00:18:07And all over norway, communities gather together in churches just like this as choirs cap santa lucia day with a concert.
00:18:15[ choir singing "Angels We Have Heard on High" ] ♪♪ ...Glo...ria... ♪♪
00:18:24♪♪ in excelsis Deo ♪♪♪♪
00:18:33And as the congregation follows the santa lucias out, more light of christmas spills into this little fjord-side community.
00:18:42[ choir singing "Santa Lucia" in Norwegian ] ..santa lucia ♪♪
00:19:09♪♪ santa lucia ♪♪♪♪
00:19:12christmases everywhere come with special meals.
00:19:16Here in norway, families treat children to a rice porridge and it comes with a hidden almond.
00:19:22[ girl exclaiming in Norwegian ] ..
00:19:30A marzipan pig!
00:19:31It's reminiscent of the old days when a peasant family's wealth was tied up in its precious pig.
00:19:38[ talking, laughing ] Jule ol OR CHRISTMAS BEER GOES BACK TO MEDIEVAL Times when the vikings liked to celebrate the winter solstice with a particularly stout brew.
00:19:53And holiday desserts are a big part of norway's christmas season: THE LOCAL CHRISTMAS FRUITCAKE CALLED julekaka AND A TOWERING MARZIPAN kransekake.
00:20:05A common theme across cultures is a legendary gift giver -- not always fat and jolly -- who kids butter up with treats.
00:20:11While I grew up leaving santa claus milk and cookies by the fireplace, the kids here leave a bowl of porridge out by the barn FOR THE julenisse.
00:20:22These mischievous elves-from-the-forest visit each christmas, not on reindeer, but with a horse, pig, and mouse entourage anda bag of gifts.
00:20:31Every good child knows THE julenisse IS COMING WITH AN EXCITING Reward.
00:20:37Just up the fjord, norway's capital, oslo, celebrates christmas with a more urban charm.
00:20:44Streets are decorated, LOCALS NOT READY TO RELY ON THE julenisse, Are out shopping, and good cheer is abundant.
00:20:53[ shrieking ] Christmas in oslo feels low-key.
00:20:56You'll find it best not on the streets or in the malls, but in the homes, with friendsandin music.
00:21:06Youthful voices fill the city's oldest church.
00:21:09The old aker church, which dates back to the 12th century, hosts the norwegian girls' choir for an advent concert.
00:21:16[ choir singing carol in foreign language ] ♪♪ ...in excelsis Deo ♪♪♪♪
00:22:35[ loud applause ] We'll check back with the santa lucias and THEjulenisse LATER.
00:22:49And from norway, we're traveling on to paris, germany, italy, and switzerland for lots more of our european christmas.
00:22:55But first, I'd like you to travel on over to your phone and share some of that holiday joy with your public television station.
00:23:03Thanks.
00:23:05Merry christ everyone.
00:23:07I'm kc cowan, your host forrick steves'european christmas.
00:23:10Welcome toour holiday festival.
00:23:12And, of course, we're so luckyto have our favorite guide right here with us.
00:23:16Welcome to you, rick.
00:23:17Thanks, kc,it's great to be here.
00:23:18And it was great to be able toshoot christmas all over europe, as we got to do whilewe were making this special.
00:23:23Reminds me of the richnessand the complexity of our cultural roots.
00:23:27I was also remindedhow thankful I am as a tour guideto have pbs, and that means each of you,as partners in sharing so much travel funand learning.
00:23:35And of course we're thankfulfor all the wonders that you have shown us duringall of these great experiences.
00:23:40Now, during thisspecial program, we're asking for your supportof this pbs station.
00:23:45Rick's shows are great examplesof the kind of programming available onlyon public television, and your support makesprogramming like this possible.
00:23:54We're celebratingchristmas in europe now thanks to the generous supportof viewers who contributed in the past.
00:24:00That's right, it's teamwork,and those of you calling today will enable thispublic television station to stay strong, independent,and able to bring you the quality programmingyou expect next year.
00:24:11So if you valuethis kind of programming, please call the numberon your screen and make a generous contribution to support this stationright now.
00:24:19Volunteers are readyto take your calls, and as always, rick has broughtsome exciting gifts as thanks for your support.
00:24:26Steves:TO ENCOURAGE YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS Station, we have some exciting waysto show our gratitude.
00:24:31Contribute $80, and we'llthank you with three gifts: Oureuropean christmasbook,the program dvd, and a cd of european carols.
00:24:40The book is filledwith vivid photographs and tells the storyof christmas in europe.
00:24:44The dvd includes the programwe're enjoying right now with lots of funand musical extras.
00:24:48Tr and the cd is a collectionof our favorite 20 carols chosen from the manywe filmed.
00:24:55Make a gift of $200, and we'llthank you with those gifts PLUS OUR EXCITING BOXED SETOF DVDs.
00:25:02This 80-episode,13-disc anthology brings you the entirerick steves' europelibrary, 45 hours of travel fun, including every showwe've produced, plus special programs,lectures, and a bonus discgiving you a virtual seat on one of our europeanbus tours.
00:25:18We'll also include the europeanplanning map I designed locating all my favoritehard-to-find discoveries.
00:25:24And at bh amounts, you'll also receivedancing with europa, my personal journalfrom recent travels, and a special 64-page editionof our travel newsletter, featuring my favoriteeuropean travel destinations for the coming year.
00:25:36Together, we supportpublic television.
00:25:39Make your calland make your choice: $80 For the christmas book,dvd, and cd, those three gifts, the map, and that 80-episodedvd anthology.
00:25:52And thanks for supportingyour public television station.
00:25:56Mass media has a huge impacton the values of our society.
00:26:00If you want an alternativeto advertiser-shaped media, there is one placeyou can count on, and that's right hereon your pbs station.
00:26:08I'm here today becausei'm personally committed to the notionthat public broadcasting has never been more importantfor our society.
00:26:14With programming that respectsthe intellect of its viewers, pbs doesn't contributeto the dumbing down of america.
00:26:21It helps make our country smart.
00:26:23I contribute each and every yearbecause i believe that supporting my publictelevision station is flat-out good citizenship.
00:26:30Give us a call right now.
00:26:31The number's on your screen.
00:26:32Call it a christmas present fromyou to your favorite tv station.
00:26:36And when you call nowat either level, you'll receive these wonderfulchristmas gifts.
00:26:43Christmas has deepcultural roots.
00:26:45Today we're offeringthree gifts to invigorateyour holiday season with traditionsfrom across europe: The show dvdwith lots of extras, a book tracing the storyof christmas, and a cd of wonderful carols.
00:26:59Therick steves' christmasdvd includes the specialyou're watching sday, plus 90 minutes of extras: More of john paul ii'sinspiring last christmas mass, full-lengthchoral performances, a slideshow capturingthe joy of the season, and an interviewwith germany's christkind.
00:27:17Frohliche weihnachten.
00:27:19Theeuropean christmasbookexplores the rich traditional roots,both christian and pagan, that shapedthe christmas festivities we enjoy todayhere at home.
00:27:28It contains more information on the historyof this special season than we were able to includein the tv program.
00:27:34Each chapter uncoversthe fascinating story behind the many traditionsso familiar to americans.
00:27:40There's a chapter telling howwe actually produced the show, and there are recipes forevery festive meal we enjoyed.
00:27:46This beautiful booktakes you vividly over to europe for christmas,and it will for years to come.
00:27:53[ singing ] And therick steves'european christmascd complements the bookand the dvd with a fresh collectionof carols sung on location in the seven countrieswe visited.
00:28:04Performances range from insidea rustic stone church in oslo to one of england's best choirsin downtown london.
00:28:11This collection reminds us that while our heritagemay be diverse, we can all enjoy the spiritof the christmas season through the joy of music.
00:28:19However you celebratechristmas, it's a time richin tradition, wondrous for children, and for familiesto come together.
00:28:28These three gifts -- the show dvd, the book,and the music cd -- promise to become a part of your futureholiday celebrations.
00:28:41To me, a membership eventlike this is a celebration.
00:28:45During these drives, volunteersall over the country, people who understand the valueof noncommercial media, are coming togetherto answer phones and to help maketheir station strong.
00:28:55This is a team effort, and together we're allmaking a difference.
00:28:59Support the teamin your community that's so committed tothe value of public television.
00:29:03Take a few minutes,it's fun.
00:29:05Please, give us a callright now, and then you'reon the team, too.
00:29:08Your gift is a very importantcontribution in support of great programshere on this station.
00:29:13We know not everyone can affordto hop on a plane to enjoy those santa luciasin norway or eat those delicious mincemeatpies in jolly old england, but that's one of the greatthings about public television.
00:29:25It brings the far cornersof this planet home so we can all experiencethe wonders of our world.
00:29:31Speaking of wonders,those choirs in england and that candlelit girls choirin norway, I've never seen anythingso lovely.
00:29:37Oh, yeah, and we had to scrambleto get that concert.
00:29:39That was the third concertwe tried to shoot that evening.
00:29:41The first two didn't work out,and I was getting desperate, and that concert was exactlywhat the show needed.
00:29:47Those beautiful facesunder those thick medieval stone vaultsin oslo's oldest church.
00:29:52And that harpist,she was just magical.
00:29:54Oh, it sounded wonderful.
00:29:55And the candles; the entirescene was mesmerizing.
00:29:57It's frustrating to only beable to show little snippets of these musical performancesin the program, but thankfully, in the dvdand on the cd, we can enjoythe entire performances.
00:30:08And there's much moregreat christmas music from all around europecoming up later in the show.
00:30:13And you can enjoy it allwith a contribution at tonight'shigher giving level.
00:30:17And at that level, you'll receive every giftwe're talking about, including rick's excitingdvd collection.
00:30:23Take a look.
00:30:26Therick steves' europeanthology is the definitive video libraryof european travel.
00:30:32Eighty episodes take youfrom the fjords of norway to the heart of iran,from the wild coast of ireland to the charmsof the czech republic.
00:30:41You'll discoverhidden alpine villages, explore modern citieslayered with history, and relax in my favoritemediterranean hideaway.
00:30:49And there are bonusesyou'll never see on tv.
00:30:52There's the practical"europethrough the back door"lecture I've been givingfor three decades, a fast-forward lookat my children growing up on the road, and outtakes, proof that things don't alwaysgo as smoothly as it seems.
00:31:05[ speaks in Italian ] Didn't understanda word he said.
00:31:09For any traveleror europhile, these 80 episodes,with nearly 50 hours of video, offer a lifetime of travellearning, lessons, and fun.
00:31:24So, rick, do you recommendtraveling during the holidays?
00:31:27Well, it's exciting to be overthere during the big holidays: Christmas, easter,new year's, and so on.
00:31:31Generally things are shut downfor the day, but other than thatyour sightseeing is wide open, and there's a few specialholiday treats tossed in.
00:31:39We'll be skatingon the eiffel tower.
00:31:41You'll see thatin just a few minutes.
00:31:43I'd say the main concern is to have your hotelfirmly reserved if you're travelingover the holiday, as things can be jammed up.
00:31:48By the way, make a pointto know the holidays you'll be encounteringduring your travels.
00:31:53Every country hasa 4th of july type day: May 17 in norway,july 14 in france, and so on.
00:31:59Also, you may be surprisedby other days.
00:32:01May day's a big deal for workersall over europe, AND AUGUST 15th, THAT'STHE ASSUMPTION OF Mary day across catholic europe.
00:32:08As we learned, many countriescelebrate the christmas season with an emphasison different days.
00:32:13Santa lucia day is really big innorway; that's december 13.
00:32:17AND EPIPHANY --THAT'S JANUARY 6th -- That's a big timein italy.
00:32:20We'll see why laterin this special.
00:32:22Well, this show is a travelexperience in its own right, so thank youfor bringing it to us.
00:32:26And your support is whatmade it all possible.
00:32:28Make your call,make a contribution, and make a differenceright now.
00:32:32And here's somethingwe really hope will encourage your support.
00:32:37Let's quickly review today'stop thank-you package.
00:32:41Support your public televisionstation with a contribution of $200, with all the giftswe've been talking about today.
00:32:48You'll receive the book,the dvd, the cd, the map, AND OUR EXCITING BOXED SETOF DVDs.
00:32:55This 80-episode,13-disc anthology brings you the entirerick steves' europelibrary, 45 hours of travel fun, including every programwe've ever produced.
00:33:06Today we're celebrating thepublic in public television, and the choice is yours: $80 For myeuropean christmasbook, dvd, and cd, or $200 for absolutelyeverything: Those three gifts,plus the ma and my exciting dvdboxed set anthology.
00:33:25Thank you.
00:33:27Okay, rick,i have my passport.
00:33:29Where are we headed next?
00:33:30We have lots more to see.
00:33:31Up next is france, germany,and austria.
00:33:34And if you're learningthe languages, it'sjoyeux noelandfrohliche weihnachten.
00:33:38Thanks again four calls.
00:33:40If you've already called in,thank you.
00:33:41And if not, well,we'd love to thank you next.
00:33:48Paris is nicknamed europe's city of light for its incandescent energy and effervescent culture.
00:33:56In the dark of winter, the city's best-ved icon, the eiffel tower, brilliantly heralds this happy season.
00:34:03By night, paris's biggest department stores dress up the streets.
00:34:07Printemps is pretty in pink, and the galeries lafayette has woven an exquisite embroidery of lights.
00:34:14There's ice skating at the hotel de ville.
00:34:17And all along the champs-elysees, it's a festive forest of 2,000 twinkling trees.
00:34:26[ bells chiming ] By day, the signs of christmas are more subtle but can be found everywhere.
00:34:36The best-dressed trees are seen here at the pompidou center.
00:34:39Where else but in paris will you find avant-garde christmas trees making a fashion statement?
00:34:53With visions of versace dancing in their heads, inspired fashionistas can bundle up their wish lists and head to the designer boutiques on the rue royal.
00:35:04Parisians buy fewer christmas gifts than their american counterparts -- it's more a matter of quality than quantity -- and they favor small specialty shops like these.
00:35:15Christmas in paris is elegantly understated and the city yields unexpected moments.
00:35:19Turn a corner, and you just mighfind yourself in a stylish arcade all wrapped up in red.
00:35:29Busy parisian shoppers fuel up on the city's street food: ..
00:35:38And hot roasted chestnuts.
00:35:41Joyeux Noel!
00:35:43And neighborhood brasseries are full of friends slurping fresh oysters rushed in from the brittany coast.
00:35:54Oysters are favorites at christmas, which makes perfect sense as they're plump and delicious this time of year.
00:36:03'Tis also the season of elegant edibles.
00:36:08Foie gras, a pate made from goose liver and a smidge of cognac, islly popular during holidays.
00:36:18And chocolate shops and patisseries -- wonderful any time of year -- get even better at christmas.
00:36:25..
00:36:29..
00:36:30And delights fit for a king.
00:36:33This patisserie, the oldest in paris, was opened in 1730 by an ex-pastry chef of the royal court.
00:36:42Even sophisticated paris rolls out the magic carpet for children.
00:36:45French families from all over the country rendezvous at the windows of the grand department stores.
00:36:50Displays are especially designed to enchant the little ones.
00:36:57And stools provided by thoughtful stores make sure that even the tiniest tot enjoys a good view.
00:37:10During christmas, the eiffel tower becomes the highest ice-skating rink in paris.
00:37:19..
00:37:23AND THE CITY'S MAGICAL maneges de Noel, The carousels of christmas, spin memories.
00:37:29A clear, cold day brings out parisians, trying to soak up as much sunlight as possible on these, the shortest days of the year, while a dusting of snow brings out hopes for a white christmas, like at home.
00:37:43Whether you're young or just young at heart, christmas in paris is the stuff of dreams.
00:37:53If paris is a grandam strutting her christmas finery, then burgundy, where we're heading next, is her pious country cousin.
00:38:02[ choir singing in French ] Burgundy lies in the quiet, religious heart of this mostly secular nation.
00:38:09France's most venerable abbeys are here, and their spirit seems to animate the small villages throughout the region.
00:38:17Ancient traditions survive comfortably here.
00:38:20THIS 13th-CENTURY ABBEY Resonates with the rich sounds of the french group phonema, singing medieval carols just as they were sung centuries ago.
00:38:30[ singing continues ] [ song ends ] A sense of community runs strong in rural france, and it expresses itself in simple rituals shared by families and friends.
00:39:32[ chainsaw buzzing ] [ men shouting ] [ crashes ] These old friends come here each winter to cut and gather wood for their fireplaces and stoves.
00:39:47It's the kind of hard work that builds an appetite.
00:39:52Fortunately, they brought drinks to cut the ..
00:39:57[ men laughing ] With just enough red wine for the duck.
00:40:08..
00:40:12..
00:40:18AHHH...c'est bon!
00:40:20[ men talking in French ] A winter picnic in the woods is as good for the soul as it is for the stomach.
00:40:31[ speaks French ] In burgundy, no one goes without.
00:40:35Communities take good care of one another year-round, with special treats at christmas.
00:40:39This amiable village mayor, accompanied by her entourage, gets into the spirit of things by delivering baskets of delicacies to the elderly for the christmas eve feast.
00:40:53[ both speaking French ] This morning my friends the berteloots are shopping for seasonal fare at the saturday market.
00:41:12[ speaking French ] [ speaking French ] Finefood's at the center of life in burgundy, even in the dead of winter.
00:41:23Right about now the truffles are at their pungent best.
00:41:28[ all speaking French ] Delphine and emmanuel prepare for the grandest culinary event of the year.
00:41:35The french call their christmas eve feast "le réveillon de noel." [ speaks french ] At home the family's busy preparing for the big event.
00:41:52The children are decorating candles to set on the windowsill on christmas eve to light up the dark on the night so filled with anticipation.
00:42:02[ speaking French ] [ speaking French ] And the tree's not quite done until capped with a star.
00:42:11[ both speak French ] In the kitchen, delphine slices her foie ..
00:42:20Then devotes herself to the centerpiece of THE réveillon: Filet of beef wrapped in brioche.
00:42:27Stretching the pastry is a two-person job.
00:42:32After generously grating local truffles the beef is tenderly wrapped and ready for the oven.
00:42:44And there's still the serious business of selecting the perfect wine from the cellar.
00:42:49Soon guests will be arriving.
00:42:51This time of year, when the days are short and the nights are long, it's customary to leave a welcoming light in the window.
00:42:59We'll be back when dinner's ready.
00:43:00..in germany.
00:43:03When it comes to traditional holiday images, germany's bavaria is the heartland.
00:43:08Here we'll savor classic holiday themes: Glittering trees, old-time carols, and coloul christmas markets.
00:43:17THESE MARKETS, CALLED Christkindl MARKETS, Enliven squares throughout germany.
00:43:21The most famous is here in nurnberg.
00:43:28It's a festive swirl of the heartwarming sights, sounds, and smells of christmas.
00:43:41Long a center of toy making in germany, a woody and traditional ambiance prevails.
00:43:48Nutcrackers are characters of authority: Uniformed, strong-jawed, and able to crack the tough nuts.
00:43:55Smokers, with their fragrant incense wafting, feature common folk like this village toy maker.
00:44:04Prune people, with their fig body, walnut head, and prune limbs, are dolled up in bavarian folk costumes.
00:44:11AND HOVERING ABOVE IT ALL IS THE GOLDEN Rausch Angel, an icon of christmas in nurnberg.
00:44:17Rausch IS THE SOUND OF WIND BLOWING THROUGH Its wings.
00:44:20It's a favorite for capping family christmas trees.
00:44:24Bakeries crank out old-fashioned gingerbread -- THE Lebkuchen NURNBERG -- USING THE ORIGINAL 17th-CENTURY RECIPE.
00:44:34Back then, nurnberg was the gingerbread capital of the world, and its love affair with gingerbread lives on.
00:44:40Shoppers can also munch the famous nurnberg bratwurst, ..
00:44:46And sip hot spiced wine.
00:44:51As in so many cultures, kids love their local version of santa claus.
00:44:56While santa is a legend, nicholas, a kind and generous bishop who actually lived in turkey in the 4th century.
00:45:05Holiday gift giving, especially in catholic regions, is often associated with the feast day of nicholas, december 6.
00:45:14But germany is luther country.
00:45:15BACK IN THE EARLY 1500s, THE GREAT REFORMER, Martin luther, wanted to humanize the christmas story by shifting the focus away from the saints and back onto the birthday boy: jesus.
00:45:25 nick BRINGING THE GOODIES ON DECEMBER 6th, Luther established the idea that gifts would be given on the 25th BY THE CHRIST CHILD OR, IN GERMAN, Christkind.
00:45:37[ speaking German ] [ laughing ] But for kids, it was hard to imagine the little baby in the manger delivering gifts, so an angel served as the gift-giving christ child.
00:45:47And somehow the angel came to be represented by a young girl.
00:45:51She spends her reign spreading the joy of the season.
00:45:54THE Christkind CONCLUDES By telling the entralled children, "if you're very, very gentle, you can touch " nurnberg's favorite angel then leads her fans into the children's section of the market where expertly bundled kids enjoy a christmas wonderland.
00:46:14[ children shouting ] THE Christkind ISN'T THE ONLY ONE HANDING Out good cheer.
00:46:24Carolers spread the joy of christmas using the town's historic courtyards as impromptu concert venues.
00:46:32And here in the land of bach, beethoven, and mozart, seasonal music fills the churches.
00:46:38[ choir singing in German ] [ song ends ] Now we cross the border into austria to the town that to me always feels like christmas: With its old town gathered under its formidable castle, salzburg celebrates the holidays with an alpine elegance.
00:48:19[ horseshoes clopping ] Christmasy shopping lanes delight browsers.
00:48:32Markets are busy as shoppers gather last-minute holiday decorations and perhaps a fresh sprig of mistletoe.
00:48:40[ gunshots ] These tiroleans celebrate the season in noisier fashions as well.
00:48:47[ gunshot ] From the castle ramparts, high above town, traditional gunners fire away as they have since the days when they really believed these shots would scare away evil spirits.
00:48:58[ gunshots ] Salzburg, nicknamed the rome of the north, has a magnificent cathedral inspired by st. peter's at the vatican.
00:49:09Locals here in the town of mozart pack the place to mix worship with glorious music.
00:49:16[ orchestra playing, choir singing ] [ bells chiming "Silent Night" ] It was here, in the region of salzburg that the most loved carol of the christmas season, "silent night," was sung for the first time nearly 200 years ago.
00:50:15According to legend, a local priest went out one christmas night to bless a newborn baby.
00:50:19As he walked home in the snow, he was so moved by the stillness of the starlit and holy night that he wrote a poem about it.
00:50:26He gave the poem to franz gruber, the organist in his church, who composed a simple tune.
00:50:32On christmas eve, 1818, the carol was sung for the first time accompanied only by a guitar.
00:50:39[ plucks introductory notes ] Both: ♪♪ Stille nacht ♪♪
00:50:48♪♪ Heilige Nacht ♪♪
00:50:54♪♪ Alles schlaft...♪♪
00:50:58Austria is one of europe's most traditional corners.
00:51:02Its strong catholicism and love of heritage shine especially brightly at christmastime in the countryside.
00:51:09♪♪ ...hochheilige Paar ♪♪
00:51:15♪♪ Holder Knabe ♪♪
00:51:20♪♪ Im lockigen Haar ♪♪
00:51:25We're visiting the weissacher family farm.
00:51:28A typically tirolean christmas yodel offers us the warmest of welcomes.
00:51:34[ group singing in harmony ] Rick: Sehr schone, danke.
00:51:53[ speaks German ] This family happily shares its love of the season with a guest.
00:52:01Like just about anywhere, part of christmas is making cookies with grandma.
00:52:16More unique to austria is this ritual in which the dad blesses the home with incense as his daughter follows with holy water.
00:52:25The prayer is for a healthy and happy new year.
00:52:31Maria teaches her daughters how the advent wreath marks the four weeks of advent: The season of preparation leading to the advent or arrival of jesus.
00:52:40Ancient peoples were the first wreath makers.
00:52:43For christians, that evergreen circle came to symbolize everlasting life.
00:52:49The candles, one for each week, reminded them that the birth of their savior was approaching.
00:52:56Austrians lovingly decorate their tree, but keep it secret and hidden from the children until december 24th arrives.
00:53:04We'll check back a little later to see what christmas brings.
00:53:08From here in the alps, we journey to a grand city that was the capital of the western world on that first christmas two thousand years ago and remains a leading city in christendom today: rome.
00:53:19But first, we're taking short break to remind you that this is public television, and programming like this just can't happen without your support.
00:53:30weihnachten.
00:53:31Did I get that right? perfect.
00:53:32Okay, and we're headed to romesoon, so that ..?
00:53:35Buon natale.
00:53:36Ah, okay.
00:53:37Hi, I'm kc cowan,here in the studio with our guide extraordinaire,rick steves.
00:53:40And right now,so this hardworking station so committed to bringing you the best in noncommercialbroadcasting can be stronginto the next year, we need to get you headingover to that phone.
00:53:50That's right.
00:53:51If you like this programming, let me suggest one effective wayto show your approval.
00:53:55Call the number on your screenright now and support the best televisionon television with your contribution.
00:54:02This station relieson the support of our viewerswho become members.
00:54:05It's thousands of peoplecoming together and doing their small part that makes everything publictelevision does possible.
00:54:12So do make your callright now.
00:54:14Wow, rick, skatingin the eiffel tower.
00:54:17Yeah, well, european citiesare so much fun and they're just intobeing people-friendly and celebratingthe holidays.
00:54:23And small-town crms complementthe big-city charms, like that village mayorgoing door-to-door with her frenchchristmas cheer.
00:54:30big city, small town.
00:54:33Everybody seems to be enjoyingan excuse to celebrate.
00:54:36And as usual,you invigorated your show with just reallysome great people.
00:54:40Oh, yeah, the peopleare critical.
00:54:41I've found that it's the peoplethat make good travel.
00:54:44Whenever I'm leading a tour,writing a guidebook, or working up a scriptfor a new tv episode, if I can't connectwith real people, that travel experienceis just going to be flat.
00:54:54And I'm not talking aboutthe woman in the dirndl sent by the tourist board to take meto the slap dancing show.
00:54:59I mean real workaday people who don't make their livingoff of tourism.
00:55:03We met maddy and her familyin england, the wonderful weissacher familyin austria, and we'll meet lots more peoplecoming up.
00:55:09"And if you're very, very gentleyou can touch " oh, I love the christkind.
00:55:15Oh, so do i.
00:55:15I've got to say, I was reallyenamored by the christkind.
00:55:18I'm lutheran,and I love to see old martin luther gettinginto the mix, you know, shifting the focus from a saintback to jesus, and somehow it ends upa beautiful teenage girl.
00:55:27One of my favorite extrasin our christmas dvd, included in every level today, is a private interviewwith the christkind.
00:55:35She granted me a little timeto talk with her.
00:55:37She's got her own press agent,and after the interview, we filmed me hauling outmy stash of mistletoe.
00:55:43She played along, as you'll seeon the dvd extra, but only with certainvery strict conditions.
00:55:48That was a fun bit to film, but my producer, simon,said, "it's cute maybe, but it's not going to make itin the christmas " thank goodnessfor those dvd extras.
00:55:56And the christmas dvdhas plenty of fun extra.
00:55:59Here's a review of the giftsthat we're offering when you make that call.
00:56:03Steves:TO ENCOURAGE YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS Station, we have some exciting waysto show our gratitude.
00:56:08Contribute $80, and we'llthank you with three gifts: Oureuropean christmasbook,the program dvd, and a cd of european carols.
00:56:17The book is filledwith vivid photographs and tells the storyof christmas in europe.
00:56:21The dvd includes the programwe're enjoying right now with lots of funand musical extras.
00:56:27And the cd is a collectionof our favorite 20 carols chosen from the manywe filmed.
00:56:32Make a gift of $200, and we'llthank you with those gifts PLUS OUR EXCITING BOXED SETOF DVDs.
00:56:39This 80-episode,13-disc anthology brings you the entirerick steves' europelibrary, 45 hours of travel fun, including every showwe've produced, plus special programs,lectures, and a bonus discgiving you a virtual seat on one of our europeanbus tours.
00:56:55We'll also include the europeanplanning map I designed locating all my favoritehard-to-find discoveries.
00:57:01And at both amounts, you'll also receivedancing with europa, my personal journalfrom recent travels, and a special 64-page editionof our travel newsletter, featuring my favoriteeuropean travel destinations for the coming year.
00:57:14Together, we supportpublic television.
00:57:16Make your calland make your choice: $80 For the christmas book,dvd, and cd, those three gifts, the map, and that 80-episodedvd anthology.
00:57:29And thanks for supportingyour public television station.
00:57:34Give your public tv stationa merry christmas gift.
00:57:38It's a great idea.
00:57:38Call right now,the number's on your screen.
00:57:40We find programs likerick steves' european christmas on public televisiononly because of viewer support.
00:57:47The programming you've enjoyedthis year on this station was made possibleto a large degree by the generous support of thosewho called in last year.
00:57:54Those of you calling in rightnow are fueling the pbs tank for more of the qualitynoncommercial programming you'll all enjoy next year.
00:58:03That's how public broadcastingworks.
00:58:05So now the ball'sin your court.
00:58:07We're waiting to hearfrom you.
00:58:09We are indeed.
00:58:10Call the number on your screenand stand up for quality, diversity,and individual enrichment right here on yourpublic television station.
00:58:18Contribute at any leveland you're doing your share.
00:58:21In fact, you're doing morethan your share.
00:58:23You'll be doing a service for those in your communitywho depend on this station but can't affordto help support it.
00:58:28Please make that call of supportto this station right now.
00:58:32Thank you.
00:58:35Christmas has deepcultural roots.
00:58:38Today we're offeringthree gifts to invigorateyour holiday season with traditionsfrom across europe: The show dvdwith lots of extras, a book tracing the storyof christmas, and a cd of wonderful carols.
00:58:51Therick steves' christmasdvd includes the specialyou're watching today, plus 90 minutes of extras: More of john paul ii'sinspiring last christmas mass, full-lengthchoral performances, a slideshow capturingthe joy of the season, and an interviewwith germany's christkind.
00:59:09Frohliche weihnachten.
00:59:11Theeuropean christmasbookexplores the rich traditional roots,both christian and pagan, that shapedthe christmas festivities we enjoy todayhere at home.
00:59:21It contains more information on the historyof this special season than we were able to includein the tv program.
00:59:26Each chapter uncoversthe fascinating story behind the many traditionsso familiar to americans.
00:59:31There's a chapter telling howwe actually produced the show, and there are recipes forevery festive meal we enjoyed.
00:59:38This beautiful booktakes you vividly over to europe for christmas,and it will for years to come.
00:59:44[ singing ] And therick steves'european christmascd complements the bookand the dvd with a fresh collectionof carols sung on location in the seven countrieswe visited.
00:59:56Performances range from insidea rustic stone church in oslo to one of england's best choirsin downtown london.
01:00:03This collection reminds us that while our heritagemay be diverse, we can all enjoy the spiritof the christmas season through the joy of music.
01:00:11However you celebratechristmas, it's a time richin tradition, wondrous for children, and for familiesto come together.
01:00:20These three gifts -- the show dvd, the book,and the music cd -- promise to become a part of your futureholiday celebrations.
01:00:34This is a team effort.
01:00:35It's the station staff,so many phone volunteers, business supporters,and most importantly, you.
01:00:41Together we're allmaking a difference.
01:00:43Please, support the teamin your community that's so committed to the valueof public television.
01:00:48Take a couple minutes,it's fun.
01:00:49Please, give us a phone callright now.
01:00:51Ck, I know howtruly committed you are to making travel accessiblethrough public television.
01:00:57Well, since I was a kidteaching travel, I've taught traveleverywhere I can.
01:01:01I wanted travel to be bothaccessible and meaningful.
01:01:04I know that many peoplecan't actually travel for physicalor financial reasons, or they're busy at homewith children or whatever, but they love to travelthrough public television.
01:01:13For all of us, especially forthose people who can't travel, public television truly is the next best thingto a plane ticket.
01:01:20This station truly does bringthe whole world right into our living rooms.
01:01:25And it happenseach and every day because someone just like youpicked up their phone and made a contribution.
01:01:30An join with them, won't you,and keep this station thriving.
01:01:34Call the number on your screenand say, "count " whether your gift isa basic member amount or a bit higher to receiveone of rick's wonderful gifts, you'll be partof the pbs family.
01:01:45In filming this special,i enjoyed celebrating christmas with so many familiesin so many different cultures.
01:01:51In looking at how those parentsloved each of those children, I was reminded that regardlessof our politics or language, how we worship or who brings usour gifts on christmas, this world is hometo billions of equally preciouschildren of god.
01:02:06Public tv helps us to celebratethe diversity on our planet in a way that's alsoa celebration of oneness.
01:02:13Pbs enriches our livesjust as travel does, and that's worth a lot.
01:02:18In just a few minutes,we'll be in italy: Midnight masswith the pope, bonfires in tuscan villages, and of course,tossing christmas fruitcakes.
01:02:28Before we tossthose fruitcakes, there is still time for youto call and do your part.
01:02:33Here's a perfect opportunity for you to both give and receivethis christmas season.
01:02:37For your giftat the top level, you'll receive every giftwe've mentioned today, including rick's dvd set with more than 45 hoursof great travel programming.
01:02:47Check this out.
01:02:52Therick steves' europeanthology is the definitive video libraryof european travel.
01:02:57Eighty episodes take youfrom the fjords of norway to the heart of iran,from the wild coast of ireland to the charmsof the czech republic.
01:03:06You'll discoverhidden alpine villages, explore modern citieslayered with history, and relax in my favoritemediterranean hideaway.
01:03:14And there are bonusesyou'll never see on tv.
01:03:17There's the practical"europethrough the back door"lecture I've been givingfor three decades, a fast-forward lookat my children growing up on the road, and outtakes, proof that things don't alwaysgo as smoothly as it seems.
01:03:30[ speaks in Italian ] Didn't understanda word he said.
01:03:34For any traveleror europhile, these 80 episodes,with nearly 50 hours of video, offer a lifetime of travellearning, lessons, and fun.
01:03:49So, rick,tell us a little bit about how this specialwas all put together.
01:03:52Must have beenquite a scramble.
01:03:54Well, we shot it allin the 14 days leading up to christmas.
01:03:57We had two crewsof four people each.
01:03:59We're normally just three: Me, simon the producer,and the cameraman.
01:04:03But for the first time,we had sound men along, because the quality of the musicwas just vital for both the showand for the cd.
01:04:10We spent about four daysin each culture.
01:04:12You'll notice it feels likewe celebrate christmas eve seven timesover the course of the program, but we were actuallyonly in two places on december 24th and 25th,rome and salzburg.
01:04:22My family flew over to join usin switzerland.
01:04:25That's coming upin the next segment.
01:04:27I couldn't imagine doinga christmas show without including my family.
01:04:30We had one big prayerfor the whole shoot, and that was to get some snow.
01:04:34It was unseasonably warmin most places that winter, but we got our white christmas,just barely, in switzerland.
01:04:40I think it would be so much funto watch you and your crew work.
01:04:43I wish I could.
01:04:44Well, you can.
01:04:45" alf-hour look at howwe make our regular tv show.
01:04:49We filmed it in milan,and it's included as one of the showsin the dvd anthology.
01:04:54ALSO, AT OUR ricksteves.comWEB SITE, We have a special corner with information supportingthis christmas special.
01:05:02You'll find the entire script, an article detailinghow the show was produced, and even interviews with friendsin other european countries sharing their christmastraditions.
01:05:11These were originally producedfor our weekly hour that's been airingon public radio stations across the united states now,which is in its fourth year.
01:05:18This is a great timeto get on board with pbs.
01:05:21Now here's a quick reviewof the gifts that will help make supportingyour station right now a great ideafor this holiday season.
01:05:28Let's quickly review today'stop thank-you package.
01:05:33Support your public televisionstation with a contribution of $200,and we'll thank you with all the giftswe've been talking about today.
01:05:40You'll receive the book,the dvd, the cd, the map, AND OUR EXCITING BOXED SETOF DVDs.
01:05:47This 80-episode,13-disc anthology brings you the entirerick steves' europelibrary, 45 hours of travel fun, including every programwe've ever produced.
01:05:58Today we're celebrating thepublic in public television, and the choice is yours: $80 For myeuropean christmasbook, dvd, and cd, or $200 for absolutelyeverything: Those three gifts,plus the map and my exciting dvdboxed set anthology.
01:06:17Thank you.
01:06:19All right, rick, I'm readyfor more christmas.
01:06:21What comes up next?
01:06:22Well, we've saved our mostexciting stops for last.
01:06:25Christmas in italy, including a peekat the final christmas mass pope john paul iiwould celebrate, and a snowy festivalof holiday fun high in the swiss alpswith my family.
01:06:35Then all over europewe'll see the bells ring, children openingtheir presents, and the climaxof the holiday season as europe celebratesthe arrival of christmas.
01:06:45And as you enjoythis next segment of ourchristmas in europespecial, think about the valueof public television in bringing the wondersof our beautiful world right into your living room, and then become a partof the community that supports greatpublic television programming.
01:06:59If you have yet to jointhis station, please consider doing soright now.
01:07:03For those of youwho have joined us, thanks so muchfor your generous support.
01:07:07Christmas eve is almost here, and your magic pbs holidaysleigh is taking you to italy.
01:07:13And as they say there,avanti!
01:07:16Let's go.
01:07:25This is the home of the vatican city, headquarters of the roman catholic church and somef europe's most sacred christmas traditions.
01:07:36For centuries, pilgrims have hiked from all over christendom to this great city.
01:07:41Domes and ancient obelisks still serve as markers, ..
01:07:49 peter, marked by the greatest dome anywhere.
01:07:56And through the ages, pilgrims have stopped here at the basilica of santa maria maggiore.
01:08:02The faithful believe the original planks from jesus's crib are in this ornate container.
01:08:09And here in the capital of catholicism, each christmas, lovingly constructed manger scenes, CALLED "presepi," POP UP ALL OVER TOWN.
01:08:18 francis of assisi is credited with assembling the first manger scene in 1223.
01:08:23He used it as a tool to teach people the story of the first christmas.
01:08:27Since then, in the creative teaching style francis, manger scenes often put bethlehem in a local context.
01:08:34Instead of the middle east, italians have long set the holy family right here in italian settings.
01:08:40 francis knew that by putting jesus in a place people would recognize -- their own neighborhood -- the faithful could relate more easily to the story of his birth.
01:08:59AND presepi RANGE FROM THE VERY TRADITIONAL To the very surprising, like this one that imagines the nativity in an eskimo village.
01:09:11The ultimate manger scene is back on rome's ultimate square.
01:09:15 peter's is where the pope celebrates midnight mass each christmas eve.
01:09:26For roman families there's more than just manger scenes to see.
01:09:29For centuries this lively square, piazza navona, has hosted a boisterous village-like holiday market that stays busy until epiphany in january.
01:09:44The christmas season in europe stretches for well over a month, not to maximize shopping days, but to fit in the season's many holy days.
01:09:51Advent starts four sundays before christmas eve.
01:09:54 nicholas on december 6th.
01:09:57SANTA LUCIA DAY IS ON THE 13th, And europeans don't wrap things up on the 25th.
01:10:01The 12 days of christmas stretch from the 25th THROUGH JANUARY 6th.
01:10:06That's epiphany: The day the three kings finally delivered the gi s.
01:10:11In italy on epiphany, la befana, a popular christmas witch, flies over the rooftops filling children's stocking ..or coal.
01:10:19Between visiting their manger scenes and christmas witches, many italians are shopping for their big christmas eve dinner.
01:10:27[ shouts in Italian ] When it comes to a festa, italians like to buy fresh and local, and lucky romans enjoy an abundance of farmers markets.
01:10:37La Vigilia, THE TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS EVE Dinner, calls for all the trimmings.
01:10:41Here in rome, that's lots of veggies and a nice big female eel!
01:10:52As anywhere, christmas in rome is a time of giving.
01:10:55The spirit of charity is especially alive in this neighborhood, which has come together for a special holiday meal.
01:11:02At the church of santa maria in trastevere, tables have replaced pews and the poor are enjoying a feast prepared and served by the community.
01:11:12It's a joyful occasion, and by all accounts those doing the giving feel as blessed as those they feed.
01:11:39Outside of rome, in villages in regions such as tuscany, christmas celebrations are a little more rustic.
01:11:44The festivities, while low-key, are memorable.
01:11:48During a busy season that sometimes feels overwhelming, village life can be refreshingly simple.
01:11:54These jovial friends are playing an old game.
01:11:57The idea is to toss the panforte, the local fruitcake, close to the edge of the table without having it slide off.
01:12:05[ all talking in Italian ] [ all exclaim ] [ woman calls to child ] Si.
01:12:28These children are flip-flopping the gift-giving tradition.
01:12:31Woman: Graze!
01:12:33Boy: Buon natale.
01:12:34They're delivering another christmas treat, panettone, a rich brioche made with raisins and citru to older folks who have no family nearby.
01:12:42[ women speaking Italian ] While providing a bright spot in this grandma's day, the child experiences the joy of giving.
01:12:56And today the children have another important errand.
01:12:59IT'S TIME TO POST THEIR LETTERS TO Babbo Natale, The italian version of santa claus.
01:13:06This special mailbox mysteriously appears each christmas.
01:13:11[ men singing Gregorian Chant ] Sacred music and prayer infuse this tranquil landscape.
01:13:18HERE AT THE 15th-CENTURY ABBEY OF MONTE OLIVETO Maggiore, reclusive monks celebrate their faith in a timeless fashion as if one with the communities they serve.
01:13:30[ chanting continues ] ♪♪ ...Christum Dominum...♪♪
01:14:07And in this town, the people are doing a dress rehearsal FOR A presepio vivente OR LIVING NATIVITY.
01:14:17On christmas eve in this simple cloister they'll recreate the town of bethlehem on that holiest of nights.
01:14:23Monks: ♪♪ Amen ♪♪♪♪
01:14:30in the countryside, you appreciate how sacred traditions have deep roots.
01:14:34Here in this medieval tuscan hill town, villagers stack neat pyramids of wood for great bonfires.
01:14:39The lighting of the fires is a signal to villagers, dressed as shepherds, to come and sing old carols.
01:14:48[ all singing in Italian ] It's a reminder that through the ages italy's humble shepherds entertained the faithful as they gathered by fires to warm themselves and await the arrival of christmas.
01:15:09[ singing continues ] [ applause ] While italy has the rich history, magnificent manger scenes, and grand churches, the spirit of christmas can be experienced everywhere in europe.
01:15:48High in switzerland, where the churches are small and villages huddle below towering peaks, the mighty alps seem to shout the glory of god.
01:15:55Up here, christmas fills a wintry wonderland with good cheer.
01:16:00[ bells clanging ] In these villages, traditions are strong, [ clanging continues ] And warmth is a priority.
01:16:13Ovens are small so wood is, too.
01:16:23My family has arrived for a swiss alps christmas.
01:16:26Along with our kids, andy and jackie, my wife, anne, has joined me here in the tiny village of gimmelwald where we're having some fun with our friends olle and maria and their kids.
01:16:37[ shriek and laughter ] Yahoo!
01:16:42Hoo! hoo-hoo!
01:16:45Whoo!
01:16:58Olle is taking us high above his village on a quest to find and cut the perfect christmas tree.
01:17:06[ Olle speaks indistinctly ] Well, what do you think about this tree here?
01:17:12..
01:17:14Well, let's shake it.
01:17:15Let's go.
01:17:21..papa, look at this.
01:17:24Yeah, olle, I think we can do better.
01:17:39[ laughter ] Yeah, this is much prettier.
01:17:42What do you think?
01:17:43 I think we should cut it.
01:17:54[ various people exclaiming ] [ indistinct talking and laughter ] Still high above gimmelwald, we're stopping in a hut for a little fondue.
01:18:14Woman: We've got the tree.
01:18:16Girl: Yes!
01:18:16Olle: That was quite a bit of work.
01:18:18Rick: this feels just right in the winter, doesn't it.
01:18:20Maria: When it's cold outside, it's perfect.
01:18:24[ speakswiss-German ] MEANS, UM...
01:18:26[ speaks Swiss-German ] And it means in english "fondue is delicious " so if you have a party, it's going to be -- YES, EVERYBODY KNOWS WHAT [ speaks Swiss-German ] Means.
01:18:37If there's fondue, it'll be a good ambience.
01:18:40YES. [ all laugh ] It's impossible not to linger in this cozy setting.
01:18:45Before we know it, the light outside begins to fade.
01:18:49Here's to a happy christmas.
01:18:51Cheers!
01:18:53[ all laugh ] As the sun sets, we've got our tree and take an unforgettable ride home to gimmelwald.
01:19:06[ background instrumental music: "Ave Maria" ] [ laughing, shrieking ] Back in the village, the kids take the tree home, and we've been invited to enjoy another christmas tradition.
01:19:51While I grew up opening windows on a paper advent calendar, up here the windows are real.
01:19:58Twenty-five homes decorate a window for each day of advent.
01:20:03The sense of anticipation is the same as, day by day, christmas approaches.
01:20:09[ bells jingling, sheep bleating ] Advent is all about anticipation.
01:20:18And for the kids, much of that anticipation is about presents: Rewards for being not naughty, but nice.
01:20:25And as we've seen, throughout europe each culture seems to have its own version of santa claus, who serves parents by providing children incentives for good behavior.
01:20:36Here in the alps, it's samichlaus.
01:20:37 nicolas -- and his sidekick, schmutzli.
01:20:42My son, andy, is playing samichlaus this year.
01:20:45Olle's son, sven, is playing schmutzli.
01:20:48And the donkey is playing himself.
01:20:51Each year, gimmelwald's children anticipate a visit from this dynamic christmas duo.
01:20:57Samichlaus surprises the children and checks in his ledger to see if they've been doing their chores.
01:21:02Have you been feeding the cows lately?
01:21:04[ speaks Swiss-German ] Then he might ask for song or a poem, what would you like to sing?
01:21:11[ sings in Swiss-German ] And the performance is always followed by a treat from his big bag of gifts.
01:21:27I hope you have a merry christmas.
01:21:29[ speaks Swiss-German ] See you next year.
01:21:32Bye.
01:21:34[ everybody laughing ] Mission accomplished, and it's time for dinner.
01:21:38Back home, grandma and grandpa have joined the gang as we settle into a classic swiss christmas eve.
01:21:46For this family, the holiday feast includes ham, scalloped potatoes with mountain cheese, and lovingly decorated gingerbread cookies.
01:21:56After dinner, both our families gather in the living room.
01:21:59Lighting the candles is a treat our children will always remember.
01:22:12[ man reading in German ] Three generations come together as grandpa reads from the old family bible.
01:22:18[ continues reading in German ] [ singing in German ] And we all love a little caroling.
01:22:46[ singing continues ] [ song ends ] The evening's capped off with the sharing of gifts.
01:23:28[ exclamations, appreciative comments ] Christmas eve is finally here, and right about now, hc all across europe, our friends are celebrating this long-anticipated night in their own unique ways.
01:23:53 nicholas came with a ..
01:23:56In england, the family snuggles together, anticipating the arrival of father christmas.
01:24:02[ crowd singing carol ] Up in norway, they're joining hands in song.
01:24:09[ speaking French ] IN BURGUNDY, A TOAST STARTS THE réveillon.
01:24:13And delphine's beef is finally done.
01:24:16[ exclamations and applause ] [ bell jingling ] In austria, the children discover what their grandparents have been hiding from them.
01:24:29Final touches are made to the bethlehem being created in tuscany.
01:24:34[ bell pealing ] peter's, as millions around the world share a sacred and glorious midnight mass.
01:24:43Choir: ♪♪ Hark, how the bells, sweet silver bells ♪♪
01:24:45♪♪ all seem to say throw cares away ♪♪
01:24:47♪♪ christmas is here bringing good cheer ♪♪
01:24:50♪♪ to young and old, meek and the bold ♪♪
01:24:52♪♪ ding, dong, ding, dong, that is the song ♪♪
01:24:54♪♪ with joyful ring, all caroling ♪♪
01:24:56♪♪ one seems to hear words of good cheer ♪♪
01:24:59♪♪ from everywhere filling the air ♪♪
01:25:01♪♪ oh, how they pound, raising the sound ♪♪
01:25:04♪♪ o'er hill and dale, telling their tale ♪♪
01:25:06♪♪ gaily they ring, while people sing ♪♪
01:25:09♪♪ songs of good cheer, christmas is here ♪♪
01:25:11♪♪ merry, merry, merry, merry christmas ♪♪
01:25:13♪♪ merry, merry, merry, merry christmas ♪♪
01:25:16♪♪ christmas is here bringing good cheer ♪♪
01:25:18♪♪ to young and old, meek and the bold ♪♪
01:25:21♪♪ ding, dong, ding, dong, that is the song ♪♪
01:25:23♪♪ with joyful ring, all caroling ♪♪
01:25:25♪♪ one seems to hear words of good cheer ♪♪
01:25:28♪♪ from everywhere filling the air ♪♪
01:25:30♪♪ oh, how they pound, raising the sound ♪♪
01:25:32♪♪ o'er hill and dale, telling their tale ♪♪
01:25:35♪♪ gaily they ring, while people sing ♪♪
01:25:37♪♪ songs of good cheer, christmas is here ♪♪
01:25:39♪♪ merry, merry, merry, merry christmas ♪♪
01:25:42♪♪ merry, merry, merry, merry christmas ♪♪
01:25:44♪♪ on, on they send on without end ♪♪
01:25:47♪♪ their joyful tone to every home ♪♪
01:25:49♪♪ ahhh ♪♪ ♪♪ on, on they send on without end ♪♪
01:25:52♪♪ ahhh ♪♪ ♪♪ their joyful tone to every home ♪♪♪♪
01:25:58and as christmas day dawns, a joyful chorus heralds the birth of jesus.
01:26:03[ loud chorus of bells pealing ] [ bells fade away ] Happy christmas!
01:26:29Joyeux Noel!
01:26:31Schone Weihnachten!
01:26:33Buon Natale...!
01:26:35God Jul!
01:26:38Merry christmas.
01:26:39Frohe Weinachten!
01:26:42Joyeux Noel!
01:26:43Happy christmas!
01:26:45HO, HO, HO, frohe Weihnachten!
01:26:48Buon Natale!
01:26:49All: God yul!
01:26:52[ bell clanging ] Oyez! oyez!
01:26:54I wish you all a very merry christmas!
01:27:01From our family to yours, peace on earth and goodwill to all!
01:27:05Merry christmas!
01:27:06Merry christmas!
01:27:10herewith steves, and we have been enjoyinga christmas extravaganza.
01:27:14I love the wayeach region of europe is still so uniqueand distinct.
01:27:18Think of all we've seenand where we've been in the last hour or so.
01:27:22And don't go away, because my crew and ihave put together a special musical dessertto top off this holiday feast.
01:27:28But first we'd like to ask youto become a supporting member of this wonderfulpublic television station.
01:27:34Do that by calling the numberon your screen and making a contribution.
01:27:38We are your public televisionstation.
01:27:40We're part of this community,and we rely on our community to keep all the programscoming.
01:27:46Your gift keeps this stationstrong, so grab your credit cardand make your call right now.
01:27:51Rick, "the mighty alps seemto shout the glory " I love that image. oh, I do, too.
01:27:57That line comes from"high in switzerland, "where the churches are smalland the village is huddled "below the towering peaks, the mighty alps seem to shoutthe glory of " you really feel thatwhen you're up in the alps.
01:28:07Oh, you really do, and it waslovely to see your family.
01:28:10Well, a christmas showjust wouldn't be right without family;that was clear.
01:28:14 two crewsin seven cultures in 14 days.
01:28:18Anne and the kids flew injust for the swiss alps part.
01:28:21Andy had a blast playingthe local samichlaus.
01:28:24With that big bag of goodies, he was popularwith those village kids.
01:28:27In the last hour or so, we'vetraveled to seven cultures, visited families to share in their intimate ritualsand celebrations, and learned so muchabout a holiday that we've grown up with.
01:28:38This is a classic exampleof the value of travel and the valueof public television.
01:28:43And in a few minuteswe'll enjoy a special bonus.
01:28:47We'll see five of our favoritemusical performances and another look atthat glorious midnight mass with the popeat st. peter's.
01:28:55But first, right now, take a moment to dosomething really exciting, to make a difference,to become a supporting member of this great public televisionstation.
01:29:04Give yourself and this stationa christmas gift.
01:29:07Become a memberright now, or maybe give a gift membershipto a loved one, and every time you tune in, you'll enjoy watchingthis station even more.
01:29:16A gift membership, what a great ideafor the upcoming holidays.
01:29:19Da your support means a lotto this station, so make that important callright now.
01:29:25Steves:TO ENCOURAGE YOUR SUPPORT OF THIS Station, we have some exciting waysto show our gratitude.
01:29:31Contribute $80, and we'llthank you with three gifts: Oureuropean christmasbook,the program dvd, and a cd of european carols.
01:29:40The book is filledwith vivid photographs and tells the storyof christmas in europe.
01:29:44The dvd includes the programwe're enjoying right now with lots of funand musical extras.
01:29:49And the cd is a collectionof our favorite 20 carols chosen from the manywe filmed.
01:29:55Make a gift of $200, and we'llthank you with those gifts PLUS OUR EXCITING BOXED SETOF DVDs.
01:30:02This 80-episode,13-disc anthology brings you the entirerick steves' europelibrary, 45 hours of travel fun, including every showwe've produced, plus special programs,lectures, and a bonus discgiving you a virtual seat on one of our europeanbus tours.
01:30:18We'll also include the europeanplanning map I designed locating all my favoritehard-to-find discoveries.
01:30:24And at both amounts, you'll also receivedancing with europa, my personal journalfrom recent travels, and a special 64-page editionof our travel newsletter, featuring my favoriteeuropean travel destinations for the coming year.
01:30:36Together, we supportpublic television.
01:30:39Make your calland make your choice: $80 For the christmas book,dvd, and cd, those three gifts, the map, and that 80-episodedvd anthology.
01:30:51And thanks for supportingyour public television station.
01:30:56This is a team effort, and together we're allmaking a difference.
01:31:00Right now,all over the country, people who understand the valueof noncommercial media are coming togetherto make their station strong.
01:31:08This is a community celebration of the valueof public television, and we'd like youon the team.
01:31:14Take a couple minutes,it's fun.
01:31:16Please, give us a phone callright now.
01:31:18Public television sharesyour values: Rich culture, fine art,informative news, and programs like rick's that help us enjoyand better understand our beautiful and sometimescomplicated world.
01:31:30Your support makes us allpartners in this exciting work.
01:31:34Think of your membership inthis public television station as an important investmentin your community.
01:31:39Mass media has a huge impacton the values of our society.
01:31:42If you want an alternative to advertiser-shaped media, this station iswhere it's at.
01:31:47I'm here today becausei'm personally committed to the notionthat public broadcasting has never been more importantfor our society.
01:31:54Considering the complexityof the challenges confronting our nation today, it's critical that we keepour society informed.
01:32:01No place on the dial respectsthe intelligence of its viewers like this station.
01:32:06Simply put, this stationis a treasure.
01:32:09I appreciate public broadcastingas a producer, as a teacher, and as tour guide, and I appreciate itas a viewer.
01:32:17I can promise you this, my shows would never seethe light of day anywhere else on the dial.
01:32:22The special you're watchingcelebrates a noncommercial christmas.
01:32:26It was real peopleand real culture on public noncommercialtelevision.
01:32:31It's not happy holidaysand the joy of shopping; it's real culture.
01:32:36That's rare these days, and it's possibleonly with your support.
01:32:39Please, help support thisstation right now with a call.
01:32:43Thank you.
01:32:44At both levels today,you'll receive rick's trio of show-relatedchristmas gifts: The book, the dvd,and the cd.
01:32:50And these can enrich yourfamily christmas celebrations for years to come.
01:32:57Christmas has deepcultural roots.
01:32:59Today we're offeringthree gifts to invigorateyour holiday season with traditionsfrom across europe: The show dvdwith lots of extras, a book tracing the storyof christmas, and a cd of wonderful carols.
01:33:12Therick steves' christmasdvd includes the specialyou're watching today, plus 90 minutes of extras: More of john paul ii'sinspiring last christmas mass, full-lengthchoral performances, a slideshow capturingthe joy of the season, and an interviewwith germany's christkind.
01:33:31Frohliche weihnachten.
01:33:32Theeuropean christmasbookexplores the rich traditional roots,both christian and pagan, that shapedthe christmas festivities we enjoy todayhere at home.
01:33:42It contains more information on the historyof this special season than we were able to includein the tv program.
01:33:47Each chapter uncoversthe fascinating story behind the many traditionsso familiar to americans.
01:33:53There's a chapter telling howwe actually produced the show, and there are recipes forevery festive meal we enjoyed.
01:33:59This beautiful booktakes you vividly over to europe for christmas,and it will for years to come.
01:34:06[ singing ] And therick steves'european christmascd complements the bookand the dvd with a fresh collectionof carols sung on location in the seven countrieswe visited.
01:34:17Performances range from insidea rustic stone church in oslo to one of england's best choirsin downtown london.
01:34:25This collection reminds us that while our heritagemay be diverse, we can all enjoy the spiritof the christmas season through the joy of music.
01:34:33However you celebratechristmas, it's a time richin tradition, wondrous for children, and for familiesto come together.
01:34:42These three gifts -- the show dvd, the book,and the music cd -- promise to become a part of your futureholiday celebrations.
01:34:55The reason this stationis able to bring you the great variety of programs likerick steves'european christmas or the world of other showsyou enjoy here is because of viewer support.
01:35:05Membership in this stationmakes the programming you expect to find herepossible.
01:35:10Learning is a lifelong journey; it's filledwith exciting events.
01:35:13Whether it'stravels with rick steves or thenewshour,antiques roadshow, ormasterpiece theatre, you and your familywill never stop learning or being entertainedwith public television, and your support keepsthese great programs coming.
01:35:26So grab your credit cardand grab your phone and make your callright now.
01:35:31Show your appreciationfor quality programming by becoming a member so that we can continue thisspecial adventure together.
01:35:38By calling the numberon your screen, you stand up for quality,diversity, and individual enrichment.
01:35:44Your support is criticalto this station's existence.
01:35:47Only through your support can it continue to providegreat programming.
01:35:51It's as simple as that.
01:35:53Go to your phones and give usa call right now.
01:35:56Take that important steptoward becoming a member and keeping your stationstrong.
01:36:00I must say, I'm thrilled that everyone pledgingat the top level will receive all the giftsllwe're talking about today, including the entire libraryof our shows in that boxed dvd set.
01:36:14Therick steves' europeanthology is the definitive veo libraryof european travel.
01:36:19Eighty episodes take youfrom the fjords of norway to the heart of iran,from the wild coast of ireland to the charmsof the czech republic.
01:36:28You'll discoverhidden alpine villages, explore modern citieslayered with history, and relax in my favoritemediterranean hideaway.
01:36:37And there are bonusesyou'll never see on tv.
01:36:40There's the practical"europethrough the back door"lecture I've been givingfor three decades, a fast-forward lookat my children growing up on the road, and outtakes, proof that things don't alwaysgo as smoothly as it seems.
01:36:53[ speaks in Italian ] Didn't understanda word he said.
01:36:56For any traveleror europhile, these 80 episodes,with nearly 50 hours of video, offer a lifetime of travellearning, lessons, and fun.
01:37:12Again, call the numberon your screen and find out aboutthe great thank-you gifts we have available for you: Those three christmas gifts,and for the higher level, you get the dvd libraryof all rick's shows and the three christmas gifts.
01:37:24In our actual christmas program, we could only show bitsof performances, but up next, we can add a fewperformances in their entirety.
01:37:33In this final segment, we've assembled a fewof our favorites, a fun little musical montagetaking us across europe and through the centuries.
01:37:40YOU'LL HEAR A 14th-CENTURYGERMAN CAROL SUNG james, a christopher wren-designedchurch in london; a burgundian choral groupin medieval costumes singing a catalan carol IN THE 13th-CENTURYCISTERCIAN ABBEY IN FRANCE; The norwegiannational girls choir

Tags