Christmas Traditions in Germany

Christmas Traditions in Germany"Helga" tells people about German Christmas Traditions in Epcot. She's holding an Advent Calendar.

One of the best things about celebrating Christmas in Germany is that it is a month-long celebration. Even though it is a month long celebration it is not a party all month long, most of the celebration is quiet because the Christmas season is a time for reflection.

One of the Christmas traditions in Germany is exterior decorations on homes and businesses. While the decorations that you see on offices and homes in Germany are not the same as what you have grown to expect in the United States, the decorations are still nice. The most popular decorations that you will notice on office buildings and homes in Germany are candles, evergreen boughs, and window dressings, in the United States our version of evergreen boughs are wreaths decorated with various ornaments.

Writing letters is one of the other popular Christmas traditions in Germany. In the United States, children write letters to Santa Claus asking him for their favorite toys or just telling him, what they wish for and why they deserve to get what they want for Christmas. Once the children are done writing the letters to Santa Claus they mail them to the North Pole, where Santa Claus lives. In Germany, children do not write letters to Santa Claus, instead, they write letters to the Christ Child, who is also called Christkindl. Once they are done, with their letters to the Christ Child, they have two options, they can leave them on the windowsill where the Christ Child will pick them up, or they can mail them to Himmelstadt, which is where the Christ Child lives.

One of the best Christmas traditions in Germany is also being celebrated in the United States, and it grows more popular each year. Advent calendars are used to celebrate the Advent season. In Germany, the Advent season, also called Adventszeit, marks the beginning of the holiday festivities. This tradition used to be similar to Lent, it was strictly a religious observance, but over time, it has gotten less somber. Advent calendars are giving to children to help them count down the days until Christmas. How the Advent calendar works is that each day the children open one box on the Advent calendar, opening the box reveals a new Christmas picture each day. In the United States, the Advent calendars have candy inside the boxes, so when a child opens a box they get to see a Christmas picture, but they also get a small treat.

Another one of the Christmas traditions in Germany that deals with the Advent season is where the family gets to decorate an Advent holly table wreath. Once they have decorated the wreath they place four red candles inside the wreath. Starting on the fourth Sunday before Christmas the children are allowed to light one of the red candles in the holly table wreath. Once the candle has been lit, the children are allowed to eat treats and sing holiday songs. This tradition is repeated every Sunday before Christmas and is repeated once again on Christmas.

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Photo Credit: Donna62

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