There are many Germany Christmas traditions and German Christmas customs and here you can learn all about them and perhaps incorporate some of the traditions into your Christmas festivities.
Advent officially begins on the first Sunday after November 26th. Four Advent Sundays lead up to Christmas and now the children are busy opening the doors of their Adventskalendar and counting down to Christmas Eve which is known as Heiligabend in Germany.
Most houses in Germany have an Adventskranz (Advent wreath) decorated with four candles, each representing the four Advent Sundays. A candle is lit each Sunday.
The 5th December also marks a special day in the German calendar. It is Nikolausabend (Nikolaus Eve). The children leave their boot outside the door for St Nikolaus to leave a gift.
The 6th December begins in an array of excitement as the children discover what gifts St Nikolaus has left them. He may even visit!
In the evening, St. Nikolaus, a grey-haired figure with a flowing beard and embroidered cape will knock on doors and enquire about the children. The children deliver a verse or sing and St Nikolaus is normally informed of anything good or bad that the children have done throughout the year.
Holler Boller Rumpelsack
Holler, Boller, Rumpelsack,
Niklas trug sein Huckepack,
Weihhnachtsnüsse, gelb und braun,
runzlich, punzlich anzuschaun.
Knackt die Schale, springt der Kern,
Weihnachtsnüsse eß ich gern.
Komm bald wieder in mein Haus,
alter guter Nikolaus.
24th December, Christmas Eve (Heiligabend)is the most important time for the Germans. The presents (from the Christkind, Christ Child) are opened under the tree that night, known as (die Bescherung). Christmas dinner is then usually served. Some families may also attend midnight mass.
31st December is New Year's Eve (Silvester) and is celebrated with fireworks and parties.
5th January - "Twelfth Night" - the last of the twelve nights or days of Christmas.
6th January (Epiphany) is known as "Three Kings Day" or Heilige Drei Könige in German. It commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men (three kings) in Bethlehem. Quite often children dress up as the Three Wise Men and collect money for charity. This is a bank holiday in Germany and celebrates the end of the Christmas season.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about Germany Christmas traditions and enjoy your own German Christmas and I wish you a wonderful holiday season.
Zachary - USA
Tremendous website. I lived in Germany for almost 14 years. Your recipes have me excited about getting back into German cooking. Thanks so much!
How To Make Vanilla SugarMake your own vanilla sugar to use in German cakes, cookies and German dessert recipes.