Nov 30, 2014

Christmas Countdown Giveaway: German Christmas Traditions by Isabell

German Christmas Traditions
From the Christmas tree to the Christmas market, it's all German. Learn about beloved German Christmas traditions and find out how Germans celebrates the holiday season.

1. Germany's Christmas Markets

Almost every German city celebrates the holiday season with a traditional Christmas market. The fairs, which date back to the 15th century, originally provided food and practical supplies for the cold winter season, but soon the markets became a beloved holiday tradition and a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Today over 2500 Christmas markets all over Germany invite visitors to get into the festive mood. The market is usually located on the city’s central square and commonly features a nativity scene; bigger cities might offer a central stage for traditional musicians and dancers. Vendors offer a wide range of gifts that are often still handcrafted, as well as a mouthwatering array of grilled sausages and meats, fried fish filets on a fresh bread rolls and an unending variety of specialty sweets, confections and baked goods. Christmas markets are a treat for all the senses – beautiful to behold, delicious scents wafting through the air and a definitive feast for the taste buds.

2. German Mulled Wine

On a cold day, nothing will warm you up faster than a mug of steaming Glühwein. This quintessential Christmas market beverage consists of hot mulled red wine, with an optional shot of brandy. Most major cities in Germany serve Glühwein in ceramic mugs specifically designed for the local Christmas markets.

3. German Christmas Stollen
German Stollen, a loaf-shaped fruitcake made of yeast, water and flour, is traditionally eaten around Christmas time in Germany. The treat, which was first baked in Dresden in the 14th century, is filled with nuts, raisins, candied citrus, and spices, and its form is said to represent Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes.

4. Advent Wreath

Many Germans celebrate the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas with a lighted Advent wreath; every Sunday in December, a new candle on the wreath is lit, and many families sing Christmas carols and eat cookies or a piece of Christmas Stollen.

5. December 6th: Nikolaus Day

While mulled wine is for grownups only, the day of Sankt Nikolaus revolves exclusively around children. On his Saint’s Day, December 6, Sankt Nikolaus, the German version of Santa Claus, helps ease children’s eager anticipation during the pre-Christmas season. The night before December 6, children in Germany will place a freshly polished pair of boots in front of their bedroom doors. Upon waking up they find them stuffed with fruit, nuts and candy.

 6. Christmas Tree
The Christmas tree that has become traditional throughout many parts of the world originated in Germany. The Christmas tree is traditionally a live fir or pine tree that is decorated with candles, marzipan, beautifully wrapped chocolates, hand-blown ornaments, and tinsel. Tradition dictates that the children of the family aren't allowed to see the Christmas tree until the Christmas bell rings on the night of Christmas Eve. Many families now keep the Christmas tree in a locked room for such a purpose, while others prefer to put their trees up on Christmas Eve evening.

7. Christmas Eve

The highlight of the holiday season in Germany is the Holy Eve on December 24th. On Christmas Eve, the German family traditionally starts their evening with a service at their church. When they return, one member of the family rings the Christmas bell, signaling the start of the Christmas celebration. The family then goes to the Christmas tree to open gifts. Then comes the Christmas feast. Different families partake of this feast at varying times; it can take place before the gift giving, after the gift giving, or even after the midnight Christmas church service. Regardless, the feast traditionally consists of duck, goose, rabbit or a roast, accompanied by German delicacies such as apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage, and potato dumplings.Christmas Day itself is spent with family and friends. Shops and offices are closed, and families concentrate on the more important things in life; visiting friends, relaxing, watching a Christmas movie, and eating hearty food. The Christmas season doesn't traditionally end, however, until January 6th. This day was traditionally used to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Surely, there are plenty of more traditions but these are the most important. Germany has a rich and varied culinary Christmas tradition, as well as a huge selection of festive foods. Now, I’m telling you my top 4 favorite

food during the Christmas time.
 Christmas Cookies
 Christmas Fondue
Prime Rib with Spätzle
 Mulled wine

I think you’ve got a nice inside of the typical German Christmas time. I hope you enjoyed this guest post and I’d love to hear from you how you spent your Christmas.



  1. My husbands grandfather is Getman and it's great to learn about these traditions. I love mulled wine and stollen. Have a great Christmas.

  2. I love this! I have never been to Germany, but I have heard a lot about their Markets! Would love to visit one :)

  3. Fabulous post! I lived in Germany for a total of six years and I absolutely loved celebrating Christmas there, so magical!

  4. The traditions aren't very different from what we're doing in Romania :) It's lovely

  5. I should visit Germany at Christmastime some year...

  6. I'd love to visit a Christmas market in Germany!

  7. Fantastic post! I love learning about the different tradition for holidays around the world!

  8. OOOOH! The fruitcake really looks YUM! (I LOVE FRUITCAKES!) We also do the Advent Wreath tradition here! Great post, I always wanted to go to Germany!

  9. Happy First day of Christmas month!

  10. I moved to Germany almost three years ago to be with my Husband, and Christmas in Germany is fantastic! I love the stollen, the fresh Lebkuchen(gingerbread), the marzipan potatoes and the countless other Christmas goodies. I love Weinachtsmarkt and spend as much time as possible there when it's up. There are so many amazing things to see, eat, and buy. I have had a lot of fun mixing my American Christmas customs with those of Germany.

  11. those christmas market in germany seems to be the best!

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