Like in almost every other country, Christmas is a big deal in Germany.
Only the traditions are a little bit different.
Starting with the 'Adventskranz' which is basically a braided wreath made of fir branches with four big candles on it. Each candle stands for one of the four Sundays before Christmas and they are supposed to be lit up one by one every of these Sundays.
Photo by Wohnen & Garten
It is meant to get the families tuned up for Christmas and create a joyful atmosphere.
The Germans also have the tradition of the Christmas calendar which has been adapted by a lot of countries. It basically has the same message as the wreath but it also contains treats like chocolate or little toys in every window, every day.
A big highlight of the holiday season in Germany are the Christmas Markets.
It consists of many booths shaped like little houses, a lot of decoration and treats.
Treats like 'Glühwein' which is a mix of spices and hot red wine, and 'Stollen', a biscuit with dried fruit and other spices in it. Bratwurst a special type of sausage, Chocolate and a lot of other food. There are also many booths containing gifts, wood crafts, jewelry and art.
The Christmas market has also been adapted by a couple of countries like Canada, the U.S, France or Belgium.
Not to forget, the little holiday ' Nikolaus' on the 6th of December. The children and youth put out a shoe or a big sock on the evening of the 5th of December, hoping that ' Nikolaus' ( a fictive person like Santa Clause) would come by at night to leave chocolate and little gifts. The morning of the 6th it is allowed to look what Nikolaus brought them.
Another difference between America and Germany is that the main day of the holiday is Christmas Eve, the 24th of December. The families come together, celebrate and exchange gifts. Nothing happens the morning after. The following two days are also for the family, but less intense.
Another little tradition, which is for the kids, is to let the kids hide in the kitchen on Christmas Eve, right before the gift exchange waiting for a bell to ring.The children believe that Santa Clause rang the bell as soon as he left his gifts under the Christmas tree, not knowing that one parent rings the little bell when everything is set up and ready.
It is a very popular thing to do in families with children.
All in all Christmas is not that different in Germany from other countries, only the details are.
But one thing stays the same all over the world. The joy and happiness of Christmas.