Christmas like in any other country is the most auspicious time of the year in Germany. Although the preparation of Christmas begins before the fall of December the actual celebration begins from the St. Nicholas Day. Families enjoy Christmas thoroughly with cheers of festivals, tasty food and a lot of enjoyment altogether. Following are the traditions that are followed in Germany as a part of Christmas celebration which makes the season very wonderful and mysterious too.
St. Nicholas day which falls on the 6th of December is the most favorite holiday among the children’s in Germany. On the previous night of 5th December, all children’s polish their shoes and keep them outside the door before going to bed. Next Morning they assume that St.Nicholas have gifted them when they find their shoes filled with candy’s, nuts and other gifts. Special appearance of St Nicholas is made in various malls and clubs for children’s. He holds equal importance like that of Santa in other American countries.
The Night Patrolling of Krampus
A devil named as Krampus who is also called as the sidekick to St.Nicholas is assumed to be with St Nicholas. He is mainly to teach lessons to the children’s who are naughty. These traditions however followed by the whole of Germany, holds special importance in Bavaria. Here men wear the costumes of Krampus and keep patrolling on the 6th December. Many parents of naughty children’s invite them, especially to their home.
The Advent Calendar
These calendars hold a big part of the celebration of Christmas. In many homes of Germany, varieties of Advent Calendars are made. However, the traditional one was made up of Wreath of the Fir tree branches that were decorated with bags and boxes hanged on it. A window is opened in the advent calendar for four weeks which starts from a month before Christmas. The opened part of the calendar depicts poem, story parts, small gifts or candy or nut. The shops that sell this advent calendar are flooding with children and their parents during the season.
The Advent Wreath
The German Lutherans of the 16th century made the tradition of following the Advent wreaths. Basically, these wreath has four candles that are on the bed of pine cones, along with Christmas ornaments, berries, and dried flowers. They have different days of opening it out. Some open it in the Decembers first week and then burn a candle each week till the day of Christmas. While some others open it on the last Sunday that falls before Christmas when the full family sits around it having delicious food and singing songs of Christmas.
Religious Feast Day
In Germany, Christmas celebrations continue until the 6th of January. The day is considered as the Epiphany also known as the Feast day. On this day children’s usually wear costumes of Magi go from door to door and sing songs. They do this by asking a donation for the good cause for the children’s.
They are a very important part of the Christmas celebration and the beginning of this tradition began in the last half of the middle ages. Mothers usually decorate the trees keeping it as a secret from their children’s as there is a kind of rule that kids cannot take part in its beautification They are bought to house on the day of Christmas Eve. The trees are decorated with candy, apples, nuts, cookies, trains, angels, cars, tinsel, candles, lights and family treasures.
Gifts for kids are kept under the tree. Near to that fruit, plates are kept that are filled with nuts, marzipan, fruits, biscuits, and chocolates. The family would gather around the tree and would read the Bible and sing songs.
Although the Christmas market is very popular in all countries the origin of this market was in Europe’s German-speaking part since the Middle Ages. The Christmas Market of Germany is very popular in Germany where huge amounts of Christmas food and decorations are sold. Glass ornaments are the major decorations of Germany. Holiday lights are also very popular for the decoration and are sold most among the vendors. Even today many handcrafted goods are sold in the market. Tasty delicacies are also available in the market that includes grilled sausages, sautéed mushrooms and fried fishes in main. Sweet, confectionery and other bakery items are available in unlimited quantity.
In Germany, the most famous beverage that will warm you up on the cold days is the hot mulled red wine along with brandy. This wine is served in the ceramic mugs that are designed specifically for the Christmas celebrations. One has to pay the deposit for the mug and it gets returned when you return the mug.