We may understand a lot about conventional British and American Christmas but what about German Christmas traditions? It turns out a lot of German Christmas customs have actually shaped the customs all over the world. Here’s a look into German Christmas customs.
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Short History of Christmas in Germany
Like most of northern Europe before Christians accepted the holiday, Germany participated in the pagan routines of Yuletide. A fine example of this can be seen in how they were the first to use Christmas trees as soon as Christianity ended up being widespread.
Germans were the very first to use Christmas trees in the late midlifes. Traditionally the mom of the family would decorate the tree. It would then be brought into your home on Christmas Eve.
Arrival has actually constantly been a huge part of the Christmas lead up in Germany. From 1833 the practice of lighting an arrival wreath to help kids count down the days up until Christmas.
Conventional Christmas tree List of German Christmas Traditions Introduction Calendar(Adventskalendar)Although lots of nations follow development, due to the spread of Christianity. It is a popular custom across Germany. Advent being the counting down of the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas day. The last day of advent– Christmas Eve -starts their Christmas season where they will embellish and set up the tree.
Introduction wreath (Adventskranz)
In the 16th century German Lutherans began the custom of making Advent wreaths. The wreath holds 4 candles on top of a wreath of pine cones, winter season berries, flowers, and other ornaments. Each family has their own customs with the Arrival wreath. Frequently each of the 4 candle lights are burned on the Sundays prior to Christmas.
Picture by Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash Krampus night(Krampus Nacht )Part of German Christmas custom, Krampus night falls on the 5 December. The tale of Krampus is that it is a half-goat half-demon monster who comes to penalize individuals who have been naughty. The legend is the antitheses of Saint Nick, who all of us referred to as the jolly present provider. Like Santa is a legend to motivate kids to act German kids get the extra push from not desiring a check out from Krampus.
St Nicholas Day (Sankt Nikolaus Tag)
6 December marks Saint Nicholas day in the German calendar. On the day children will leave their shoes at the ends of their bed to awaken to small presents or deals with in their shoes the following morning.To found out more
on the history of Saint Nicholas day take a look at our post, why do we provide gifts at Christmas?
Epiphany and the Sternsinger
Christmas cheer continuing until January 6 which is the banquet of epiphany. Sternsinger is a German term significance ‘star singer.’ On the night of surprise, children dress up and go house to house singing, requesting for contributions for kids’s causes. Similar to Irelands Wren boys. Which you can find out more about on our post, why is it called boxing day?
Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmärkte)
Now a mainstay in nearly all cities in the UK. The Christmas market has it’s roots in Germany. The yearly German Christmas Market in Birmingham is arranged by the Frankfurt traders association. German traders come by to the UK for the month of December to offer a series of crafts, decorations, gifts, and of course the famous sausage (bratwurst).
Image by Food Professional Photographer|Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash Christmas Stollen(Christstollen)
Like England’s Christmas cake, Germany has Stollen. It’s a standard cake made with flour, fruits, nuts and spices. It is a long-term cake that even has its own celebration devoted to it in Dresden.
Mulled White Wine (Glühwein)
A favourite of ours here at Christmasphere HQ, mulled white wine! These steaming hot mugs of sweet red white wine is best for the cold winter season nights. You will find this famous winter drink being sold all over at your local Christmas market. We definitely suggest making your own batch at home when you have visitors over.
Another of our favourite’s is Lebkuchen. It resembles gingerbread but using honey. It tends to be a little softer than gingerbread. And much like our Christmas gingerbread it can be embellished with icing and having messages composed on them.
Fire Tong Punch (Feuerzangenbowle)
Feuerzangenbowle is a German drink popular at Christmas. It combines mulled red wine with rum and it is set alight. It was popularised in Germany following a traditional motion picture in 1943 called “Die Feuerzangenbowle”. These days it’s an enjoyable custom to host a Feuerzangenbowle party with pals to enjoy the movie and imbibe the beverage.
Christmas Trees (der Tannenbaum)
Naturally, the custom of brining a fir tree into the home and embellishing it comes from Germany. We’ve mentioned it in How to Commemorate Christmas Victorian Design and What Does The Christmas Tree Represent?
German Christmas market German Christmas Realities A research study in 2014 saw that on Christmas eve a popular dish to have is potato salad with German sausages. Although some prefer to have goose on the event.
Conventional German Dominostein In 1692 the first tape-recorded Christmas market was established in Stuttgart Germany.
That has been a rundown on German Christmas traditions. Much of these traditions need to be familiar, but ideally, you have learnt a bit more on the origins of some of the worlds favourite Christmas traditions.
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