How is Christmas celebrated in Germany?
Advent is a big part of the Christmas celebrations in Germany. Many different types of Advent calendars are used in German homes.
As well as the traditional calendar made of card that is used in many countries, there are ones made out of a wreath of fir tree branches with 24 decorated boxes or bags hanging from it.
Each box or bag has a little present inside.
Santa Claus or Father Christmas brings presents on 24 December. 6 December is St. Nicholas' Day and "der Nikolaus" brings some small gifts to the children, such as sweets and chocolate. He comes in the night between the 5th and the 6th and puts the presents in the children's shoes.
People in Germany exchange presents with their families on Christmas Eve.
In Germany, Christmas trees are very important. The parents of the family usually decorate the tree in secret. The German word for 'Christmas tree' is 'Weihnachtsbaum'. 'Happy/Merry Christmas' in German is 'Frohe Weihnachten'.
For the traditional Christmas meal, duck, goose or rabbit is served. German delicacies such as apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage and potato dumplings are served with the main meal.
Stollen is a popular fruited yeast bread that is eaten at Christmas and is considered one of the best Christmas pastries in the world!
Christmas Markets are well known in Germany where you can buy all sorts of Christmas foods and decorations. Perhaps the most famous German decorations are glass ornaments.