The 10 most popular Christmas traditions in Germany
Soon it will be around the corner again. With gingerbread, the scent of carnations and pine needles in the luggage, the Christmas season sneaks quietly into everyday life. Suddenly the first Christmas decorations can be admired everywhere, Christmas carols can be heard in the stores and slowly but surely the hustle and bustle in the shopping streets begins on the weekends. The following article reveals which traditions and customs are particularly popular at Christmas in Germany.
1. The Christmas tree in the living room
In almost every German living room it finds a place of honor at Christmas: The Christmas tree is a must for the most contemplative time of the year.
One of the most popular and well-known traditions is the Christmas tree. In the Rhineland this Christmas custom has its origin around the year 1800. At that time, the first so-called "trees of lights" were placed in the living rooms of citizens. Unlike today, in those days the tree was decorated with apples and colored paper. Nowadays, the Christmas tree gets a place of honor in the living room, where it is decorated with baubles, fairy lights and versatile Christmas symbols.
2. Buy gifts
Getting gifts for the dearest people in your heart is now also a tradition in Germany.
What would a Christmas tree be without gifts? In 21. Century it would be so absolutely incomplete. For this reason, the many Christmas gifts are now as much a typical tradition at Christmas as the tree itself. However, this custom begins even before the actual act of gift giving on 24., 25. or 26. December. Basically, these traditions start in the pre-Christmas period when searching, finding and buying gifts. In the meantime, the sums involved are considerable, so that retail and online trade experience an absolute high at this time of year.
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3. The presents
In most countries people celebrate the Bescherung only on the 25.12. In this country, however, the celebration is held one day earlier. On 24. December is Christmas Eve and every family has some traditions on this special day. While some decorate the tree together, others spend hours in the kitchen to prepare a delicious and festive meal for the family. However, one is the same everywhere, because usually follows after the meal the Bescherung. This is the part of the evening when the presents are finally unwrapped. With festive music thereby even more contemplative tendency comes up.
4. Church service on Christmas Eve
Many a movie fan loves the Christmas season, because basically there are a few classics that are always shown. Whether "Kevin alone at home" or "The Little Lord", here is a Christmas movie experience for every taste. But not everyone enjoys the time exclusively in front of the TV. There are also many Christmas fans who attend the service in the local church on Christmas Eve before the big feast and before the giving of presents.
5. Baking cookies in the pre-Christmas period
A very delicious Christmas custom is baking cookies in the pre-Christmas period.
If you want to get in the mood for Christmas, you are guaranteed to turn your kitchen into a Christmas bakery once or twice in the period leading up to Christmas. Baking cookies, cinnamon stars and gingerbread houses is one of the classic traditions and customs in the run-up to Christmas for many people. The nice thing is that this custom also produces a delicious end result to snack on and enjoy.
6. The Advent calendar
For the smallest members of the family, counting the days until 24. December a special spectacle. Why? Clearly, the classic Advent calendar provides a small tasty surprise every day. Most of the time it is a sweet treat like a small bar of chocolate. But there are now also numerous models suitable for a variety of tastes and needs.
7. Visiting various Christmas markets
Along the versatile food and beverage stands it is really good to stroll, enjoy and relax. Christmas markets are magical attractions every year. Actually, in every city there is a market that opens for the first Advent. Lumumba, mulled wine and roasted almonds are among the favorite snacks and drinks. In addition, Christmas tree decorations, candles and much more can also be discovered here. Nuremberg, Dresden and Aachen are particularly famous for their Christmas markets.
8. Cleaning boots for St. Nicholas Day
Before the big gift-giving on 24. December there is for many kids still a small Bescherung, namely on the 06. December. The universally known and loved St. Nicholas Day goes hand in hand with another tradition. On 05. On December 12, the children clean their boots or shoes, which are then placed in front of the house or room door so that Santa Claus can fill them with little things.
9. The Advent wreath
For adults, there is also a popular "countdown custom" to count the days or weeks until Christmas. This is the Advent wreath, which is one of the most classic Christmas traditions every year. Every Sunday – starting with the first Advent, which is sometimes the last weekend in November – a candle is lit on the wreath. When all four candles are lit, Christmas Eve is not far away. Nowadays, Advent wreaths are popular to make yourself, so they appear in numerous varieties and shapes. Crafting with family members can also be a nice tradition.
10. Going on vacation
A custom that is not quite so old in the Christmas context is going away at the most contemplative time of the year. Among the most popular destinations in winter, for example:
However, a vacation at Christmas time often comes at a plus cost. Because, besides the Christmas presents, there are still financial expenses for accommodation, food and co. see. In addition, a Christmas vacation often costs a bit more, as it is now a very popular time to travel, similar to summer.
Tip: For even more exciting Christmas traditions and customs, those interested can read this article.