Christmas Traditions in Germany

Christmas in Germany is known as Weihnachten, and is actually Christmas Eve as opposed to Christmas. It translates to other German speaking countries as well. As this holiday had been celebrated far longer than our Christmas, many of our traditions have been a result of Weihnachten influence.

Decorations – Advent wreaths are put out a month before Weihnachten to acknowledge the official beginning of the Weihnachten season.

Food – At the Weihnachten market, items like gingerbread and fruitcake are made and sold to the visitors. A small meal, usual consistent of fish is served on Weihnachten, while duck or goose is served the next day.

Christmas Eve – Christmas Eve is Weihnachten. It is the main focus of the German celebration, and it is the time when gifts are given out. They typically have a very small meal after the gifts are given.

Traditions – Advent is celebrated, which occurs for much of the month of December in Germany. Families also like to sing carols during this time. The advent calendar is a part of the festivities as well, something that has carried over to the US. Christmas trees are usually put up on Christmas Eve.

Work – Many work at the Weihnachten market, which is a celebrated gathering place during the time of Weihnachten. There are many different vendors that show up to sell various goods for Christmas.

Santa – St. Nicholas is celebrated on December 5th, which is popular especially throughout Eastern European countries. Children leave a boot out, and St. Nicholas fills it with candy. Christkind is also celebrated in Germany, where children leave out letters to him.

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