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German Christmas Traditions

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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German families prepare for Christmas throughout cold December. Four Sundays before Christmas, they make an Advent wreath of fir or pine branches with four colored candles. They light candles on wreath each Sunday, sing Christmas songs, and eat Christmas cookies. Children count days until Christmas with Advent calendar. Each day, they open little numbered flap on the calendar to see Christmas picture hidden there. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, homes are filled with delightful smells of baking loaves of sweet bread, cakes filled with candied fruits, and spicy cookies called lebkuchen. Bakery windows are filled with displays of lovely marzipan confections in the shape of fruits and animals. Best of all, are famous outdoor Christmas markets. Stalls overflow with all sorts of holiday toys, gifts, decorations, and delicacies. Many German children write letters to. Nicholas asking for presents. Nicholas Day is December 6. Other German children write their letters to Christ Child. In some areas, Christ Child brings gifts to children. Nicholas Eve and in other areas on Christmas Eve. He is dressed all in white, with golden wings and a golden crown. Christmas Eve is the most important time of the Christmas season for families. Some even say it is a magical night when animals can speak. The wonderful tradition of Christmas tree, which started in Germany, is the heart of celebration. Grow - ups decorate evergreen trees with beautiful ornaments of colored glass and carve wood, silver stars, and strings of lights. The Golden angel is located at the very top of the tree. Under the Christmas tree, family arranges manger scene to depict the stable that Jesus was born in. Parents may also pile presents from Christ Child beneath the Christmas tree's richly decorated boughs. Just after dark, bell rings, and excited children run into the room to see the beautiful lit tree in all its glory. Family members exchange gifts, recite poems, and sing Christmas carols. Silent Night, Holy Night is an old German favorite. Then everyone enjoys a Christmas feast of roast goose, turkey, or duck. In some parts of Germany, families still follow old tradition.S Children leave their shoes outside the front door. These shoes are filled with carrots and hay to feed. Them Nicholas horse as he rid by. If children were good all year,. Nicholas leaves apples, nuts, and candy for them. On Christmas Day, the white candle of Advent wreath is lit. This day is quietly focused on family. They attend church together, and then they eat delicious Christmas dinner together. But for following Twelve Days of Christmas, people in some parts of Germany beat drums to drive off spirits. On Twelfth Night, or Epiphany, on January 6, boys dress up like the Three Kings who visited Baby Jesus in a manger so long ago. They carry stars on poles and go through town singing Christmas carols.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Christmas in Germany

Christmas in Germany is celebrated with many traditions that are unique to Germany. Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ's Child, Baby Jesus. Christmas celebrations start in Germany on 24 December when Christmas gifts are exchange. On 25 December and 26 December, usually families get together for celebrations and also religious Christians will visit Christmas Mass during these days. The German festive season starts at the end of November or early December with Advent celebrations. During the festive season, many cities and towns hold Christmas Markets which open from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve. Here see a photo of a traditional Christmas market in Frankfurt. Many town squares do have their own tall Christmas trees in front of townhouses or city halls which are beautifully decorated with fairy lights and often lights are switched on early in December with big parties. There is always a majestic Christmas tree set up in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, which you can see in the image below. There is a festive atmosphere during the whole month of December. Christmas markets and stalls sell traditional German delicatessen such as Christmas Stollen, hot and sticky sweet roast almonds, Lebkuchen hearts and other Christmas sweets, as well as typical Christmas decorations can be found in many towns. The most famous German Christmas market is in Nuremberg. There are many stands with mouth - blown and delicately painted glass baubles in all sizes and colours. Christmas in Germany: Read here about the best German Christmas markets to visit.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Christmas Trees

Germany is credited with starting the Christmas Tree tradition as we now know it in the 16 century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some build Christmas pyramids of wood and decorate them with evergreens and candles if wood is scarce. It is a widely held belief that Martin Luther, 16 - century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to the Tree. Walking toward his home one winter evening, composing a sermon, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst evergreens. To recapture scene for his family, he erected a tree in the main room and wired its branches with lit candles.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Christmas Markets

Christmas markets in Germany are very traditional, and are well - stocked with all kinds of German Christmas foods as well as wood carvings and decorations for Weihnachtsbaum. The market is a wondrous place to bring your family, your tiny tots, for an evening of holiday joy and excitement. Pack full to brim of German Christmas traditions, including the eminent Nuremberg bratwurst sausage! Perfect place to purchase your ornamental Pyramids, and Weihnachtsbaum Decorations. Weihnachten Market in Nuremberg, is seen as the most famous city market in all of Germany. It takes place every single year during Advent, in the old town square. It truly is a sight to see.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Advent Wreaths

Many families in Germany put Advent Wreath on the living room table on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Wreaths have four large candles and, traditionally, pinecones and berries. As lights are dim, whole family gathers around Wreath. As one, they spend quiet, reflective hours together. Some families may sing Christmas carols or enjoy children's performance on flute or piano. Others may watch afternoon family movie. This May includes having hot chocolate, tea, coffee or Gluhwein for drinks. Additionally, they may munch on stollen, cookies, marzipan chocolate, roast chestnuts and fruits. Each Sunday before Christmas, candle will be lit until all four candles are lit in room. The Advent wreath tradition is especially observed in households where decorated tree is not revealed until Christmas Eve. Till Then, Advent Wreath provides heart - warming candlelight and evergreen aroma throughout the month.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Saint Nikolaus Day

German Christmas gift - bearer. Nicholas Sankt Nikolaus in Germany make his tour through town a few weeks earlier in Germany than in America. This isnt because Santa's schedule is just too busy to cover the groundwork before Dec. 25. Tons of history and years of tradition stretch between two of the world's most famous Christmas figures. Tradition of. Nikolaus actually goes back to the Middle Ages, when giving Christmas gifts was practice reserved solely for the Saints ' religious feast DAY Dec. 6. During the Reformation period, Martin Luther challenged observance steep in Catholic traditions at that time and invented new celebration for Protestants. The Protestant movement changed tradition to Dec. 24, last DAY of Christianity liturgical time of Advent, and adopted the figure of Christkind. Over centuries, personas of Christkind, Santa and. Nicholas has become somewhat muddled, WITH all figures maintaining cultural significance in Germany, regardless of one religious affiliation. Nikolaus resembles Catholic bishop and dons Bishops Miter, long brocade coat and golden staff. Nikolaus also traded in Santa reindeer for a more unique companion: Kraumpus or Knecht Ruprecht. Today, ragged, devil - like creature Kraumpus and weapon - wielding Knecht Ruprecht only serve the symbolic purpose of mildly scaring children and deterring them from misbehaving. Nikolaus DAY is still celebrated on Dec. 6 every year. It is the preliminary round of Christmas gifts and holiday cheer in Bavaria. During this holiday,. Nikolaus visits towns to read from his book and hands out small gifts of nuts, fruits and chocolate from a burlap sack. Children who do not get personal visits from Nikolaus put boot called Nikolaus - Stiefel outside front door on the night of Dec. 5. Next morning, row of boots are usually filled WITH sweets. Traditionally, Santa Claus, or Weihnachtsmann in German, does not drop down chimneys and deliver gifts on Eve of Dec. 25 in Germany. Instead, Christkind or Christkindl, Angel - like creature with blond hair and wings, brings gifts to families on Eve of Christmas. Depict as a blond female Angel, Christkind opens Christmas season at Nuremberg Christmas market every year. Much like Santa visits US shopping malls, Christkind takes pictures WITH children at the Christmas market and receives letters WITH detailed gift requests. Now it is up to you to pick which tradition you like! Let world holiday customs festively migrate to your home and family!

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Christmas Eve

According to old Christian tradition, period from Martin's Day on 11 November until 24 December was the time of fasting. That is why simple dishes are served - for example, carp, because fish is a symbolic fasting meal. However, most popular dish throughout the country is potato salad with sausages; according to a 2016 survey, that is what almost one in two Germans eat on Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day and the day after, which are both public holidays, people enjoy lavish feasts on festively decorated table. The traditional Christmas meal is roast goose with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

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Christmas Tradition: Weihnachtsgans

The rest of the world waxes poetic about Christmas goose. Germans actually eat it, anchoring the Christmas table with golden brown Gansebraten that would make Dickens proud. Sure, duck is widely popular and perhaps even more common. But it is also consumed in quantity elsewhere, whereas goose seem particularly German. 2015 figures from Destatis show Germans eat 23 000 tons of goose - 14 000 tons coming from Poland. And it not a year - long love affair, either. Most geese fly in between October and December, with spikes at Christmas and New Years. Add that all up and you get a definitively German Christmas tradition, one next generation of cooks should keep upand not just because roast goose happens to be delicious. If the joy of being different is enough to get you roasting, think of history: Christmas goose has root in everything from English superstition to religious asceticism. One legend has it that Queen Elizabeth I was gobbling up goose when she heard the British had defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588, ordering all of England to mimic her dinner at Christmas. Tradition then presumably spread from England to Germany, where it stick. Second, homegrown explanation actually comes from the tradition of fasting: Medieval Christians would fast between. Martin's Day and Christmas. Their dinner of choice before and after was goose, perhaps because legend has itthe reclusive. Martin was said to have hidden among geese while trying to avoid becoming Bishop. But the goose is also a prototypical feast item, plentiful, flavorful, and rich in fatexactly, the kind of thing you want to eat before 40 days of delayed gratification. But the real reason for eating roast goose is all in bird. Flavorful and rich, goose does exactly what you want protein to do in cold weather: roast up moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, all while bestowing you with a wealth of flavorful drippings for future cooking. Fortunately, especially if youre going straight for tradition, roast goose is all about rusticity, so variations in recipes are typically minimal, more often seasoning - relate. Several recipes rely on thyme or marjoram, its slightly earthy, verdant fragrance infusing goose flesh from inside the cavity, while others steer toward piney flavors of rosemary and staples like onions and apples. The point is you can pick and choose per your tastesherbs, fresh and dried fruits, onions, various stuffingsso, tradition doesnt have to mean endless repetition. When it comes time to roast, do fear fat. Just prepare for it. Some recipes recommend removing pockets of excess fat along with giblets, but the most important thing to do is to prick skin for drainage and siphon off goose fat as it collects over roasting period, which could last a few hours depending on size. If youre are inclined to keep fatdo, it is more coveted, with high smoke point, good monounsaturated fat, and surprisingly, less saturated fat than butterhave, jars on hand for storage.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Lebkuchen: The Ultimate Christmas Cookie

If Gansebraten is our rustically German Christmas centerpiece, Lebkuchen is the perfect cookie to follow. In the constellation of German Christmas Cookies, Lebkuchen may shine brightest: simple, pillowy Gingerbread Cookie built on robust flavors and a studiously perfect recipe. Also, not surprisingly, another Christmas dish with centuries of heritage. Variously glaze, CHOCOLATE coat, nut - and citrus - flecked cookies that spill over bakery shelves and spice up cold winter air this time of year actually date back to the Middle Ages,. The most famous variant coming from Nurnberg, where monks in monastery kitchens would prepare cakes and spiced cookies with honey collected from teeming local forests. In fact, if the idea of Christmas spice Cookie seems pat to us now, there is actually a kind of historic logic to it: honey has an ancient reputation of importance. And now commonplace spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger were once heavily coveted and highly value, with trade routes opening up all over the Orient in search of them. So ubiquitous Lebkuchen is actually both conceptually precious and implicitly celebratoryi. E, ultimate Christmas Cookie. That is not just an exaggeration. Lebkuchen is easily one of the most serious cookie types in the world, complete with centuries old league of Lebkuchen Bakers and designation of origin to protect recipe standards down to the slightest percent. Maybe it is no surprise then that the basic recipe hasnt changed much, typically highlighting honey and a heavy dose of spices, with surrounding players like citrus peel, Marzipan, NUTS, and CHOCOLATE. Of course, when cookies hit, slight variations inevitably sprout Classic Nurnberger Lebkuchen is a soft pile of gingerbread dough that is baked on oblaten, relatively flavorless bases that recall communion wafers medieval monks would have used to give cookies structure and prevent sticking. Brown Lebkuchen is roll and typically baked without oblaten, while White Lebkuchen is named for its lighter dough, result of high egg quantity. And then there are those ubiquitous hearts scrawled with messages of LOVE, lining street fairs all over Germany. But the most prized Lebkuchen are easily the Elisen variety, supposedly named for the daughter of Gingerbread baker and distinctive for their low flour content. Whichever Lebkuchen your heart desire, and whether you bake or buy, be sure to store them correctly: soft cookies require a slice of apple or citrus peel, to maintain moisture levels. Then again, they probably wo last long enough for storage to be a problem.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Christmas and Beyond: Braised Hare

It always seems to me as if Germans really celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, when - at my in - laws, at least - ceremonial erection of the Christmas tree takes place, along with its chaotic festooning with ribbons, wooden ornaments and proper burning candles. It is following the decorating of the tree, at my husband's family home, that Christmas gifts are exchange, in the warm light of candles and great, roaring log fire, with platters of Advent cookies before us, and a large glass of wine to hand. Since good Catholic Germans were traditionally expected to go to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve, traditional evening meal that day was light, meatless dinner, often with fish as the main dish. This culinary tradition continues today in many families, even if no church going is involve, with carp, salmon or hake often taking centre stage at the table, accompanied by fried potatoes or Kartoffelpuffer and Sauerkraut. However, meat has worked its way back onto the menu in many households, perhaps as chunks of beef to dip into cheese fondu, or - more commonly - sausages served with potato salad.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

What Do People Do?

In Germany, December 5 is a very special night. Children place freshly polished pair of boots in front of their bedroom doors. They do this in hope that. Nicholas and his assistant, Knecht Ruprecht, will visit their house. While there, perhaps he will leave little gift in his boots, such as chocolate, nuts or fruits, or a bag of gummy bears. On the morning of December 6, parents have no trouble getting their children out of bed! They will already have to sneak out of their bedroom to peak at what. Nicholas has brought them. However, not all children are that lucky. Nikolaus only brings presents to those children who are generally well - behaved throughout the year. Those who were not may find piece of coal in their boots, courtesy of Knecht Ruprecht, who carried a sack of coal on his shoulders. Sankt Nikolaus Practices While Sankt Nikolaus dresses similarly to his American counterpart, he does not drive sleigh or go down the chimney. In some households, children may actually come face to face with Nikolaus! Imposing Saint asks children whether they have been naughty or nice. Lying is pointless, because Sankt Nikolaus knows everything! He carries around a record of each and every child's good and bad behavior in his golden book. His assistant, Knecht Ruprecht, is a menacing figure whose role is to frighten children into good behavior with threats of being spank. However, Sankt Nikolaus is a goodhearted character who simultaneously exudes gentleness and authority. In fact, German Nikolaus is based on an actual person. Nikolaus was a popular bishop who lived in Asia Minor during the fourth century and became a legend due to his humble and generous nature. What About Kris Kringle? So how do. Nikolaus became popularly known as Kris Kringle? With the Reformation came movement away from worship of saints, and the tradition of giving and opening gifts was moved to Christmas Eve. Ever since tradition is that gifts are thought of as having been brought by Christkind. This is how Kris Kringle derived his name from its incorrect anglicization of Christkind! In Germany, presents are now usually open on Christmas Eve, December 24, after traditional family meal and singing of Christmas carols, similar to North America.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

Sources

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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