Tradition of the Pickle Tree in Epcot's Germany Pavilion

One of my favorite Disney Christmas traditions can really be found all year long in the Germany Pavilion at Epcot. For may family, it began back in the 1980s when my Dad, who for some unknown reason, became a huge fan of The Pickle Tree.



Tradition of the Pickle Tree in Epcot's Germany PavilionTradition of the Pickle Tree in Epcot's Germany Pavilion


The Pickle Tree can be found in "Die Weihnachts Ecke", or "The Christmas Corner". Standing there amongst the other trees beautifully decorated to show off hand blown glass ornaments, this tree is covered entirely in glass pickles. Something about that tree full of Pickle Ornaments just captured Dad's imagination, and the tradition came home with us and continues to this day. If you stop by this amusing tree you'll see a plaque nestled amongst it's branches that tells Disney's version of the tradition's origins.



The Pickle TreeThe Pickle Tree

According to German tradition, the pickle brings good luck and was always the last ornament placed on the tree. On Christmas morning the first child to find the gherkin was rewarded with a little extra gift from St. Nicholas. This tradition encouraged the children to appreciate all the ornaments on the tree, rather than hurry to see what St. Nicholas had left for them.


In researching this piece I discovered that the pickle ornaments actually seem to be a largely American tradition with a somewhat murky history. None the less, to my family they bring back memories of World Showcase and fun family times shared at Walt Disney World. That alone is enough for me to continue to believe that these odd little ornaments are something magical.

Has Disney inspired any of your family holiday traditions? Do you have a pickle ornament on your tree? Leave a comment and share your story!

Janice Brady wrote on Thu, 12/20/2012 - 16:09:

Janice Brady's picture

I have a pickle for my tree. Our family tradition is on Christmas morning the pickle is hidden and the child that finds it gets an extra special "pickle gift."

Lori wrote on Fri, 12/21/2012 - 18:38:

Lori's picture

We have the pickle on our tree. Although it has different maening to us. In 2008 we were blessed to have a young man from Germany stay with us. He came in as a boy and left our house as our son. Therefore that pickle represents our Toby . And that is his yearly ornament on the tree.

Barbara wrote on Mon, 05/17/2021 - 09:44:

Barbara's picture

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