Where do we wish to spend Christmas? At home, will answer most of those who celebrate it. After all, the familiar faces, and traditions we love, are there. But what if one is away from home over the Christmas period?
Countless films have seized on this premise, depicting people spending Christmas in foreign lands, or trying desperately to get home in time to give, and receive, presents. So it is no surprise that Hänsel and Gretel, the folk tale put in writing by the brothers Grimm, has in many countries become so closely associated with that time of year: though no mention is made of Christmas, the tale of two children making their way home through adversity is somehow deeply evocative of the winter celebration.
That is the object of our last theme of the year: travelling at Christmas time. And it begins with the earliest of these voyages: that of the three wise men, who, in the biblically-inspired tradition, left home to follow a golden star guiding them to a manger where Jesus was to be born.
The overture to the late 19th century opera by Engelbert Humperdinck, based on the recounting of Hänsel and Gretel by the brothers Grimm, provides the musical backdrop to the first week.
Throughout the following weeks, Five One will take you out to sea and off to India on a journey of contemplation that will seek to determine what is lost, but what can also be gained, when one is away from home on Christmas day.
Munich, 11 December 2016
Our selection of poems, music and images for the five weeks of this theme is available by clicking on the tabs above or through the links below: