A big part of the Christmas events in Germany is Advent. A number of different types of Introduction calendars are used in German houses. Along with the conventional one made of card that are utilized in many nations, there are ones constructed out of a wreath of Fir tree branches with 24 embellished boxes or bags hanging from it. Each box or bag has a little present in it. Another type is called a ‘Introduction Kranz’ and is a ring of fir branches that has four candles on it. This resembles the Introduction candle lights that are sometimes used in Churches. One candle is lit at the start of weekly in Introduction.
Christmas Trees are really important in Germany. They were first used in Germany during the late Middle Ages. If there are children in the house, the trees are normally secretly decorated by the mom of the household. The Christmas tree was typically brought into your house on Christmas Eve. In some parts of Germany, throughout the evening, the family would read the Bible and sing Christmas songs such as O Tannenbaum, Ihr Kinderlein Kommet and Stille Nacht (Slient Night).
Often wood frames, covered with colored plastic sheets and with electric candle lights within, are put in windows to make your house appearance pretty from the outside.
Christmas Eve is the main day when Germans exchange provides with their households.
In German Happy/Merry Christmas is ‘Frohe Weihnachten’. Happy/Merry Christmas in lots more languages.
Christmas Day is called “Erste Feiertag” (‘very first celebration’) and the 26th December is called “Zweite Feiertag” (‘second event’) and likewise “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which equates as Boxing Day (although it does not actually imply that)!
Germany is well known for its Christmas Markets where all sorts of Christmas foods and decors are sold. Maybe the most well-known German designs are glass accessories. The glass accessories were originally hand blown glass and were imported in the USA in 1880s by the Woolworth stores. The legend of the glass ‘Christmas Pickle‘ is famous in the U.S.A., however it’s that, a legend. Many people in Germany have never heard of the Christmas Pickle!
In some parts of Germany, primarily the south east of the nation, children compose to the’ das Christkind/Christkindl’requesting for presents. The letters to the Christkind are decorated with sugar glued to the envelope to make them sparkly and appealing to look at. Kids leave the letters on the windowsill at the beginning of or throughout Introduction.
‘das Christkind’ translates as ‘The Christ Child’ in English however Germans do not think about the Christkind as the baby Jesus! The Christkind is typically referred to as a young girl with ‘Christ like’ qualities. In Nürnberg a young girl is selected every year to take part in a parade as the Christkind. She wears a long white and gold gown, has long blond curly hair and uses a gold crown and in some cases wings like an angel. This is similar to St Lucia is Sweden. (And it can seem a bit confusing calling the ‘Christ Kid’, Jesus, a lady!)
The Nürnberg Christkind officially opens the Christmas market on the Friday prior to Development begins. And prior to Christmas she has over 150 ‘main responsibilities’ including checking out medical facilities, old people’s homes and children’s nurseries! She likewise needs to give TELEVISION interviews and check out other cities.
Santa Claus or Father Christmas (der Weihnachtsmann) brings the main Christmas provides on December 24th. You may likewise write a letter to Weihnachtsmann in other parts of Germany. Some individuals say that Santa/Father Christmas (Weihnachtsmann) brings the presents and some state it is Christkind!
Along with hoping for presents from Christkind or der Weihnachtsmann, some kids likewise hope that ‘der Nikolaus’ will bring you some little presents, such as sugary foods and chocolate on the 6th December (St Nicholas’s Day). He can be found in the night in between the 5th and the 6th and puts the presents into the shoes of kids, who typically put them by their doors. He might likewise knock on the door and the children will need to sing a tune, play a song on an instrument or narrate to St Nicholas before he gives them their presents.
In some areas of Germany, there is a character called “Knecht Ruprecht” or “Krampus” who accompanies Nikolaus (St. Nicholas) on the 6th of December. He is huge horned beast dressed in rags and brings chains. He is meant to penalize the kids who have been bad! He is usually the one who scares the kids. In other parts of Germany, St. Nicholas is followed by a little person called “Schwarzer Peter” (Black Peter) who carries a little whip. Black Peter likewise accompanies St. Nicholas or Sinterklaas in The Netherlands. In north west Germany Santa is signed up with by Belsnickel a guy dressed all in fur. Although ‘der Nikolaus’ check outs in December, he’s not officially part of Christmas!
At little work places and school celebrations, secret presents are often exchanged. A door is opened just broad enough for small presents to be thrown into the room. The presents are then circulated among individuals until everyone has the appropriate present! It is thought to be bad luck to learn who sent out each present.
Another custom is the Sternsinger (or star singers) who go from house to house, sing a tune and gather cash for charity (this is a primarily Catholic tradition). The singers are usually 4 children, 3 who dress up like the Wise males and one brings a star on a stick as a sign for the Star of Bethlehem. When they’re finished singing, they compose a signature with chalk over the door of the house. The sign is composed in an unique method, so 2020 would be: 20 * C * M * B * 20. It is considered to be bad luck to clean the sign away – it needs to fade by itself. It has usually faded by the 6th of January (Epiphany). The Sternsingers see homes in between December 27th and January 6th.
Sternsingers, through Wikimedia Commons Carp or Goose are typically served for the primary Christmas meal. Stollen is a popular fruited yeast bread that is eaten at Christmas. Here is a dish for Stollen.
Over Christmas and the New Year in Germany and Austria, the famous Ski Jumping ‘Four Hills Competition’ (‘Vierschanzentournee’) is held. It starts in Germany with Oberstdorf (Germany) on the 29th or 30th December and Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) on New Year’s Day and continues in Austria with Innsbruck (Austria) on 3rd or 4th of January and Bischofshofen (Austria) on the sixth January. I’m a big Ski Leaping fan, so I see it!