Christmas In Germany: Traditions, Events, Foods & More | Kidadl


Christmas In Germany: Traditions, Events, Foods & More

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Everyone loves Christmas, a festival to mark the birth of Jesus Christ celebrated annually on December 25 as a cultural and religious celebration all over the world.

A public holiday in many countries, Christmas is celebrated religiously by the majority of Christian people and culturally by many non-Christians all over the world. However, the celebratory customs celebrating Christmas are different in various countries and here we will see the Christmas celebrations as seen in Germany.

Christmas traditions and celebrations are unique in Germany. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas celebrations start on Christmas Eve (December 24) when Christmas gifts are exchanged among friends and family. On December 25, which is Christmas Day, and December 26, the family gets together for celebrations and exchange small gifts. During the Christmas season, religious Christians will visit Christmas Mass. In German culture, the festive season starts at the end of November or early December. This time is for the Advent celebrations. Christmas markets are set up in many towns and cities during the festive season. These Christmas markets are set up from the start of December and people can enjoy the Christmas market until Christmas Eve. You will see many Christmas markets all over Germany during the festival season. Enjoy it with the locals with Christmas carols, Christmas trees with fairy lights, and Christmas foods all over the region.

Many town squares in Germany will have their own Christmas trees in front of the city hall or town hall. These trees will be decorated fully with lights and ornaments and parties with the trees lit will start from the beginning of December. If you visit Berlin during the festival days, you will see a majestic Christmas tree standing in front of the Brandenburg Gate. Sometimes the parties will go on until New Year's Eve too. The whole period of December will have a festive atmosphere all around. Christmas markets and stalls in Germany will sell popular Christmas German delicatessen such as Christmas stollen, 'Lebkuchen' hearts (gingerbread hearts), warm and sticky sweet roasted almonds, and many decorations for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. You will even find gift items to give each other in these Christmas markets. The most popular Christmas market in Germany is in the German city of Nuremberg. In this famous Christmas market, you will find delicately painted mouth-blown glass baubles (glass ornaments) in all sizes and colors.

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How do they celebrate Christmas in Germany?

Christmas is a festive season celebrated by everyone all around the world. Almost all the countries in the world celebrate Christmas but everyone has different traditions with respect to their communities.

The festivities of Christmas start from the end of November or the start of December. Houses are decorated and each Sunday a candle is lit in the house. Christmas markets are put up with all kinds of food, crafts, gifts, and a list of things to buy. Secret presents are exchanged at school parties and small workplaces.

Although Santa Claus is known in Germany and has become popular recently, Saint Nicholas is much more important. After a silent night, St. Nicholas puts gifts in children's shoes with nuts, gifts, and candy. In Germany, Santa is known as Weihnachtsmann. He is also called Father Christmas. The modern image of the Father Christmas or Santa Claus was given to us by German-American political cartoonist Thomas Nast.

You will even see singers dress up like the Wise Men and go from house to house to collect money for charity.

The tradition of the glass Christmas Pickle ornament, although famous in Germany, is not known by most people in the United States. You can see here how different the festival is in different parts of the world.

What is Christmas called in Germany?

If you want to wish someone a Merry Christmas in German, you can use the phrase 'frohe Weihnachten.'

We say it as Christmas Eve, however, in Germany, they say Weihnachten. However, if there's a chance for you to wish merry Christmas to your friend or colleague from Germany, use the sentence- frohe Weihnachten.

Best Place To Spend Christmas In Germany

It is hard not to enjoy Christmas in Germany. Travel to numerous markets in all the towns of the country as you will never see any town having no market.

The Christmas market originated in the German-speaking European part in the middle ages. It has now spread to other parts of the world. Many thousand markets are set up in Germany each year and you should visit a few of them as you will different items like traditional glass ornaments, traditional wares, and other food items specific to the region. If you visit the Nuremberg Christkindlesmarkt, the aroma of mulled wine, gingerbread, and grilled sausage will entice you towards the stalls. It is the most famous Christmas market in Germany. The best market in the country is located in the heart of the old town (altstadt).

Other places that you can visit, apart from Nuremberg, are Cologne with its impressive buildings and decor, Dresden with beautiful markets, Hamburg with fun items from across the world, Freiburg with a magical atmosphere, Cochem with its rich history, and Stuttgart from its fantastic food and the pre-holiday event Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt.

a festival to mark the birth of Jesus Christ

Christmas Traditions In Germany

Like other Christian countries, Christmas is a special event in Germany. Some delicious food, family time, and merry times all around are what makes Christmas so great and each country has its own set of traditions behind this festival.

Full of a variety of customs, religious practices, rituals, and folklore including Christmas songs and a Christmas story involving the Christ child; days involving Christmas are always fun in Germany.

On the morning of St. Nicholas Day, young children in Germany open their stockings. St Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6. St. Nicholas Day is celebrated in many European countries without any religious preferences and is the celebration of the Feast of Saint Nicholas. The Christmas stocking is an empty sock, a modern-day stocking, or even a sock-shaped bag that children leave outside the house for Siant Nicholas to fill. It can be anything from oranges to small toys, to chocolate coins, children wait eagerly for the next morning to come. For Germans, Christmas Eve, also called Heiliger Abend, is the most happening day during Christmas time. People from Germany spend the day decorating the tree, decorating the house with local crafts from the market, and preparing some German Christmas food. It won't be a silent night as the entire family will gather around the tree in wait for the Christmas morning. Tradition says that the Christ child (Christkind) delivers the present outside the rooms of the little children. The family will sing Christmas music before the secret presents are opened. Some families might visit the local church for Christmas Eve services, while others might sit at home and relax with some Christmas food. The Christmas tree in Germany is put up at the end. Families only bring the tree out on December 24 and decorate the Christmas tree at last after the house has been decorated. An Advent wreath also known as Adventskranz is a tradition that the 16th century German Lutherans started. This wreath consists of four candles put in a bed of berries, dried flowers, pine cones, and other ornaments. These wreaths are brought out at the start of December and one candle is lighted each Sunday. German Christmas markets have brought in the aura of festivities around the globe. This tradition started in Germany. Christmas angels (Weihnachtsengel) are common across a German house. These decorations are set up either in the Christmas tree or kept on sideboards. The day of Christmas is not the same as celebrated in England. Families gather around the tree, have a heartwarming meal, attend church, and children play along the secretly decorated trees waiting for the correct present. This Christmas, celebrate it the German way with a lot of Christmas stollen full of nuts, candied fruit, and raisins. The Advent, or Christmas, calendar is a tradition of Germany that has recently become popular in the U.S. too. You will find many Advent calendars in shops across Germany during Christmas. There is another tradition where star singers or Sternsinger go from house to house during these times, sing a Christmas song, and collect money for charity. This collection of charity is a Catholic tradition. Singers will be mostly four children, three of them will dress up like the Wise Men while the other one will carry a star on a stick which symbolizes the Star of Bethlehem.

Christmas has been around since the dark ages with some elements of festivities seen.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Christmas in Germany, then why not take a look at Christmas in Mexico, or Christmas in Sweden.

Written By
Ritwik Bhuyan

Ritwik has a bachelor's degree in English from Delhi University. His degree developed his passion for writing, which he has continued to explore in his previous role as a content writer for PenVelope and his current role as a content writer at Kidadl. In addition to this, he has also completed CPL training and is a licensed commercial pilot!

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