German Christmas Traditions
Christmas is among the most popular and oldest traditions in civilization, and it is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the world. Germany is also among those countries that celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, the night prior to Christmas. In German Christmas Traditions, this festival is known as Weihnachten. Christmas trees have rich tradition and importance in German Christmas celebration. And first, the Germans started to beautify this tree with roses, candles, colored papers and apples. Many say that the protestant reformer Martin Luther first decorated the trees with light.
Christmas Preparation in Germany
Christmas is the time for fun, frolic and enjoyment. In German Christmas Traditions, preparations of this celebration often begin on the eve of December 6th which is known as Nikolaustag or St. Claus day. During this time, people bake spiced cakes, gingerbread houses as well as cookies, put together gifts and begin holiday decorations. As per the tradition, children put off their shoes or boots outside the bedroom door on the 5th of December. The children who are good get presents and the bad children get blows from rod on the next day.
German Christmas gifts
Traditional German Christmas toys are little dolls of fruit. Angel Christkind, a messenger of the Christ child offers gifts to German children. For the gifts, the children write letter addressing Christkind, and keep the letters on their windowsills on the eve of Christmas. Many also adorn these letters in various ways with glue and sprinkled with sugar. In present days, German Christmas gift idea has been evolved. Now, electronic gadgets, books, etc. are also presented as German Christmas gifts.
In the German Christmas traditions, the celebration officially starts with the first Sunday of Advent. The Advent wreath or Adventskranz is decorated with four candles, and one of these candles is lit up on each of the four Sundays prior to Christmas. Among the Germanic tribes, this ritual was present even centuries before of today’s Advent celebration. The first Advent wreath emerged in the mid-19th century which had 4 large candles as well as 19 small candles. There are 6 candles in the Advent wreath of the Eastern Orthodox Church. This German Christmas tradition has been adapted by many countries across the globe. People light up one candle on each Sunday, and the last one on the Eve of Christmas.
Christmas tree Decoration
Known as the Tannenbaum, Christmas tree is a part and parcel of German Christmas Traditions. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s husband introduced German Christmas tree decoration idea in England. And the Pennsylvania Germans brought this idea in America in the late 19th century. Decorating the Christmas tree is still a part and parcel of Christmas tradition all over the world.
German Christmas Decorations
A Christmas or "Weihnachten" is time when all the streets and business offices and houses in Germany are ornamented with Christmas lights, branches of pine-needle and fir-needle trees. Everywhere, you will just find red and dark green color.
German Christmas Carols
Enchanting carols is a part of Christmas tradition in all the countries. And the Germans love to sing "O Tannenbaum", which is known as "O Christmas Tree". There are numerous other German Christmas carols that add more essence to Christmas celebration. Some of these are Alle Jahre wieder kommt das Christuskind, Am Weihnachtsbaum die Lichter brennen, Ein kleiner weißer Schneemann, Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, Jingle Bells (German).
In German Traditions, Christmas is a two-day celebration. The day after Christmas Day is called der zweite Weihnachtstag which is popular as Boxing Day in Britain. In Germany it is also a holiday and the people enjoy this day by engaging in various activities.
German Christmas cookies
German Christmas cookies are an integral part of German Christmas traditions. Some of the renowned Christmas cookies (Plätzchen) are Gingerbread houses, hand-made wooden Nutcracker figures known as Nussknacker, nativity scenes, Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramiden). The oldest German Christmas treat is known as Stollen.
Gingerbread figures are also significantly associated with German Christmas traditions. In the popular German folk story- Hansel and Gretel, example of the eminent Gingerbread House is mentioned. This cookie is rated as one of the most coveted Christmas treats.