Giant Nutcrackers Around the World

Nutcrackers and Christmas go together like hot cider and frosty snowfall. How festive to see one standing atop a mantle in his red and green soldier’s uniform or at attention beneath the Christmas tree. You may even spy some giant nutcrackers on a porch or in a yard, ready to usher in the Yuletide season.

Nutcrackers are beloved members of the Christmas decorating family, though it wasn’t until the creation of Tchaikovsky’s famed Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, in 1892 that they became a holiday staple.

Originating in medieval times, the first nutcrackers were functional tools for—you guessed it!—cracking nuts. Some were plain, while others were crafted out of wood by skilled whittlers who made them look like animals, elf heads, or other figures from nature and folklore.

In the 17th century, a German craftsman created nutcracker dolls for children. Since these small novelty dolls were seen as symbols of protection and power, could giant nutcrackers offer even more protection (as the hero of the ballet did)? Realistically speaking, maybe not. But they most definitely could offer extra special holiday cheer!

Giant Nutcrackers Take a Stand

Bigger is better, as the old saying goes. And nutcracker enthusiasts around the globe have put their skills to use creating all sorts of displays featuring the largest giant nutcrackers they can possibly find or make.

Since at least 2006, towering nearly as high as three humans on each other’s shoulders, a line company of giant nutcrackers has stood at attention in front of an office tower on Avenue of the Americas at Rockefeller Center in New York City. These wide-eyed stoic soldiers, dressed in red and gold, seem right at home in the City That Doesn’t Sleep.

Giant German nutcracker in Neuhausen
Der Größte Nußknacker in Neuhausen. Erzgebirgskreis, Sachsen (Source: Kora27/Wikipedia)

The Cincinnati Zoo joined the fun in 2017 when it erected a 30′ giant nutcracker that featured the head of a rhino. It was part of the zoo’s annual “Festival of Lights.” The wooden nutcracker, dressed in green, purple, and gold and topped off with a crown, was built in five sections. It was so big that workers had to use a crane and lift bucket to assemble it. As you can imagine, this rhino king nutcracker was a big hit with the crowds!

A museum in Neuhausen, Germany, is currently the home of the largest decorative nutcracker, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Crafted in 2008, the giant nutcracker stands 33′ 1″ tall.

The very same museum is also home of the world’s largest functional nutcracker, which is 19′ 3″ tall and can crack actual coconuts in his powerful jaws.

Meanwhile, in Roseburg, Oregon…

In 2015 an American rival challenged the giant German nutcracker for the title of “world’s largest nutcracker.” A project of the Rotary Club of Roseburg (as part of the Umpqua Valley Festival of Lights), this giant nutcracker stood 40′ tall and weighed 8 tons. Like his counterpart in Germany, this giant Oregon nutcracker was also capable of cracking coconuts in his jaws. It was crafted out of cedar, sequoia, and redwood and was located at the River Forks Park.

As you can surmise, around the world giant nutcrackers are wonderful additions to Christmas decor. And need we remind you?…if you shop at Christmas Night, Inc., you don’t have to build your own to get in on the holiday fun!

Pair of giant nutcrackers with woman
Shop for giant nutcrackers online at Christmas Night, Inc.