“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”
– Laura Ingalls Wilder
Christmas is one of those festivals that is celebrated worldwide with the same enthusiasm and love. The traditions, stories, and overall idea of celebration may vary, but nothing can match the passion it carries. With this, people have different notions and ways of celebrating it. And for today, we are going to discuss how Germany celebrates Christmas.
If you are someone who isn’t aware of how Germany celebrates Christmas, then here is your time to go through some interesting rituals that Germans practice. And you never know you may end up loving Christmas and German celebrations even more.
Christmas is the time that comes with fun and lovely customs to relish with your family and friends. German roots and traditions are something that makes this celebration time even more remarkable and grand in itself. If you are not familiar with the ins and outs of German Christmas celebrations then here is something for you to know.
The Advent Wreath – Most German families believe in putting an Advent wreath on their dining or coffee tables on a Sunday falling before Christmas. It is considered the first day of Advent. It is made up of pine with large decorative candles, fresh berries, and pinecones to give a perfect look. As it contains four candles, a candle is lit each Sunday until Christmas. This is what the roots of German traditions say and practice. When talking about modern times, the Advent wreath is connected with Johann Hinrich Wichern (a protestant pastor).
The famous Advent Calendar – The present generation in Germany is familiar with the modern age Advent Calendar that counts the four weeks heading towards the epic Christmas Eve. It wouldn’t be wrong to refer to this calendar as kids’ favourite element of the celebrations with the kind of excitement and fun elements it carries. Generally, it is made up of a thick cardboard box with some decorative pieces on the top, making it look picture-perfect.
The Christmas Markets in Germany – If you ever happen to visit Germany, especially during the Christmas season, you won’t be able to resist roaming in the markets throughout the day. Why? Well, the markets are all loaded with countless german Christmas decorations, including handmade ornaments, baubles, wooden village masterpieces, and much more. Such is the craze of all these decoratives because most travellers visit the online stores or marketplaces in Germany to shop for these interesting products.
Get the best Christmas tree home – You must have seen countless beautiful Christmas trees on the internet, making you stare at them for hours. Well, you can see and buy them for real from Germany-based online or offline stores. Now, this must have left you thinking about what is so special about the Christmas tree from Germany. Well, Christmas trees are a young German tradition that started almost 400 years ago.
It may interest you to know that the German families used to decorate the home with pine and evergreen branches to keep the evil spirits and ghosts away from their families and homes during the pre-Christmas times. Later, the rituals of keeping a Christmas tree inside the home have been associated with Martin Luther. Reportedly, he was inspired by the glittering stars after strolling on a winter evening. This made him recreate the magic of lights and liveliness inside the homes as well. Henceforth, keeping a giant Christmas tree in the home is one of the major rituals practised throughout the world.
Gift-giving ceremonies on December 24th v/s December 6th – Most families and people in Germany celebrate and open their gifts on Christmas Eve. Here, if Saint Nicholas was behind the idea of Santa Claus, things would have been different for sure. Why don’t people open their gifts on the Saint’s feast day (celebrated on December 6th) then? Well, this is because of the Protestant reformer who meddled with the dates centuries ago.
What is ancient Germany’s Christmas tradition all about?
As per a survey conducted by the YouGov Market Research Institute, Germans are said to involve Candles as their major decorative element for celebrations. The candle decor is followed by Christmas biscuits, presents, and much more. It may interest you to know that in 2016, more than 30 million Christmas trees were decorated and placed inside homes to welcome happiness and prosperity.
Why are Germans fond of eating potato salad on Christmas Eve?
Yes, that seems to be a news or fun fact to the entire world. As per the old Christian rituals, people in Germany fast from St. Martin’s Day celebrated on November 11th until December 24th (considered Christmas Eve). That’s the reason most people in Germany eat potato salad as a sign of simple eating. Besides this, people often love eating carp, which is a fish that has been symbolized as a perfect fasting meal.
However, the most loved fasting dish throughout Germany is potato salad with sausages. Furthermore, on Christmas night, people eat a lavish dinner to celebrate the occasion and enjoy a good meal after long weeks of fasting rituals. The most common dishes kept on the Christmas dinner table include – potato dumplings, red cabbage, and not to forget roast goose.
What makes Christmas special in Germany is the delectable range of eatables available in the market, decorative pieces to seek your attention, and the overall festive atmosphere.
Christmas is a festival of positivity, happiness, and exciting gifts. And what makes it even more fun is the series of rituals associated with it. When talking about the interesting rituals connected with Christmas celebrations, one cannot miss talking about Germany. This country practices unique rituals and a series of traditions making its Christmas celebrations unique worldwide. If you happen to love Christmas times, then make time to travel to Germany and see how it feels to celebrate it there.