Christmas in Germany
20 Jan 2015 | From Celine Adrienne of Germany
Christmas, or Weihnachten, is considered by Germans to be the most important of the major holidays. The German holiday season is a time for introspection, celebration, and family and friends; it is less consumption-oriented than in the United States. Christmas preparations often begin on the eve of December 6th. People often set aside special evenings for baking spiced cakes and cookies, and making gifts and decorations.
Both December 25 and 26 are legal holidays in Germany and are known as the First and Second Christmas Day respectively. Businesses are closed, and time is spent visiting with extended family. Goose is the traditional fare on the First Christmas Day, or perhaps rabbit or a roast. These are accompanied by traditional German fare such as apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage, and potato dumplings. The second Christmas day is usually a quieter time, a day for peaceful contemplation.
In parts of Germany, people believe that the Christ Child sends a messenger in Christmas Eve. He appears as an angel in a white robe and crown, bearing gifts. The angel is called Christkind. There is also a Christmas Eve figure called Weihnachtsmann or Christmas Man, he looks like Santa Claus and also brings gifts.
Christmas Trees are very important in Germany. They were first used in Germany during the Middle Ages. The Christmas tree was traditionally brought into the house on Christmas eve. Germany is also well known for its Christmas Markets where all sorts of Christmas foods and decorations are sold. Perhaps the most famous German decorations are glass ornaments.