Christmas in Germany

Dear Mom, Dad and Family,


Imagine, sitting in a room surrounded by delicious pastries, presents, and most importantly, your family! Well I think I came to Germany at the right time...it's Christmas! Well not yet, but everyone acts as if Christmas Day is just in a few days! Everywhere I go, the smell of people baking delicious pastries fills the air. Many markets also bake pastries and make beautiful decorations to decorate Christmas trees to fit any décor. These markets are open from early November to as late as 1 to 2 days before Christmas!
Christmas decorations in Germany
Christmas decorations in Germany
Germans celebrate christmas on the 25th and the 26 of December. So (in my opinion) they are really lucky because they get to celebrate for two days!

Even though it's
late November, people in Germany are setting aside special evenings for Christmas preparations.Most Germans only work part of a day and shops are open into the early afternoon. They bake cakes and pastries and make decorations for their Christmas tree. Not many people know this but the Christmas tree actually originated from Germany. A German legend states that Martin Luther was the one who started the Christmas tree tradition. It says that one day, he walked past a beautiful Fir tree and he wanted to tell his family about it but he forgot how to tell them what it looked like, so he went back and cut down the tree and brought it home to show his family. The beautiful tree was decorated on Christmas Eve.
A beautiful Christmas tree in Germany
A beautiful Christmas tree in Germany

The Christmas tree, now, is decorated and put up on Christmas Eve. The father of the family takes the children into a different room and keeps them occupied while the mother, takes the tree from another room and starts decorating it. The mother also puts out plates for each family member and places fruits, nuts, marzipan, chocolate and biscuits on them for everyone to enjoy. Once she is done decorating the tree with all of the goodies the family made, she rings a bell and the rest of the family comes into the room with the Christmas tree in it and they start singing. One of the songs Germans love to sing is Silent Night

The people in Germany love to sing Christmas carols. Silent Night is one of the most popular songs people sing in Germany but they call it Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht. It is also not unheard of to have more than one Christmas tree in a household! Some people actually have two or three trees. In Germany, there are many other traditions that go along with a Christmas tree than just to put presents under it. The families make lots of goodies to place on their special tree. They place apples, candy, nuts, cookies, cars, trains, angels, tinsel, family treasures and candles/lights on the tree.
Shoes in front of a fireplace.
Shoes in front of a fireplace.

Many of our Christmas traditions came from Germany or were based off of Germany's traditions, such as, Santa Claus. In Germany, on the night of December 5th, each child places a shoe or boot out in front of the family's fireplace with hope that Saint Nicholas would stop by for a visit. Legend states that if the children were good all year long, then Saint Nicholas would fill their shoe/boot with treats like apples, nuts and candies for them to enjoy. But if they weren't good then he would place twigs in the shoes or something else they won't enjoy. I hope I was good all year.

Another tradition in Germany is to make and have Advent Calendars. Many kids in Germany love having Advent Calendars. At first, I thought an Advent Calendar was just a regular old calendar... but it's not!
Advent Calendars are used to count down the days until Christmas! So each morning, when the children wake up and open it, they not only find how many days are left until Christmas, but they also find a little picture that is usually a candle, snowman or anything else that can represent Christmas. The Advent Calendar starts on the 26 of November. This is around the time when the Christmas Spirit gets started in Germany!

I'll bet you are dying to know what Germans have to eat on Christmas because I sure was! Well, the most common things to be served are suckling pig, reisbrei (which is a sweet cinnamon) white sausage and macaroni salad. But now many Germans replace the pork with roast beef , turkey and goose. Also, there is an old legend that goes along with Christmas Eve dinner. It is called Dickbauch (which means fat stomach.) The legend says that if you don't eat a lot (or fill up your self) demons will come haunt you during the night! So if you ever have the opportunity to go to Germany during Christmas, eat a whole bunch of food! Another great treat during the cold winter days is mulle
The traditional Mulled Wine
The traditional Mulled Wine
d wine. It is a traditional Christmas drink. This is a very delicious drink called Glühwein ("glowing wine"). It is wine but it's not just wine, it's spiced. It keeps the winter cold away and you can get it at every German Christmas market. So during my visit, I stopped by a little market and bought a cup of mulled wine. It was so delicious and it kept me warm on my walk back to my hotel.

Many Germans think that
Christmas Eve is one of the most important times during the Christmas season! It is believed that it is a magical night because animals can speak! Do they really? I do not know, but if you want to find out come to visit Germany during the Christmas Season!
Well, I miss you and I will be home before you know it! See you soon...bye!

Love,

Jenny, Kaley and Makayla




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This is one of the many markets in germany. They sell many differnt thing like foods, toys, and alot more.
This is one of the many markets in germany. They sell many differnt thing like foods, toys, and alot more.

Rough Draft:

Dear Mom, Dad and Family,

Imagine, sitting in a room surrounded by delicious pastries, presents, and most importantly, your family! Well I think I came to Germany at the right time...it's Christmas! Well not yet, but everyone acts as if Christmas Day is just in a few days! Everywhere I go, the smell of people baking delicious pastries fills the air. Many markets also bake pastries and make beautiful decorations to decorate Christmas trees to fit any décor. These markets are open from early November to as late as 1 to 2 days before Christmas! Germans celebrate christmas on the 25th and the 26 of December. So (in my opinion) they are really lucky because they get to celebrate for two days!

Even though it's
late November, people in Germany are setting aside special evenings for Christmas preparations.Most Germans only work part of a day and shops are open into the early afternoon. They bake cakes and pastries and make decorations for their Christmas tree. Not many people know this but the Christmas tree actually originated from Germany. A German legend states that Martin Luther was the one who started the Christmas tree tradition. It says that one day, he walked past a beautiful Fir tree and he wanted to tell his family about it but he forgot how to tell them what it looked like, so he went back and cut down the tree and brought it home to show his family. The beautiful tree was decorated on Christmas Eve.

The Christmas tree, now, i
s decorated and put up on Christmas Eve. The father takes the children into a different room and keeps them external image moz-screenshot-4.jpgoccupied. the mother, takes the tree from another room and starts decorating it. The mother also puts out plates for each family member and places fruits, nuts, marzipan, chocolate and biscuits on them for everyone to enjoy. Once she is done decorating the tree with all of the goodies the family made, she rings a bell and the rest of the family comes into the room with the Christmas tree in it and they start singing. One of the songs Germans love to sing is Silent Night.

People love to sing Christmas carols. Silent Night is one of the most popular songs people sing in Germany but they call it Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht. Also, it isn't unheard of to have more than one Christmas tree in a household! Some people actually have two or three. In Germany, there are many other traditions that go along with a Christmas tree than just to put presents under it. The families make lots of goodies to place on their special tree. They place apples, candy, nuts, cookies, cars, trains, angels, tinsel, family treasures and candles/lights on the tree.

Actually, a lot of our Christmas traditions came from Germany or were based off of Germany's traditions, such as, Santa Claus. In Germany, on the night of December 5th, each child places a shoe or boot out in front of the family's fireplace with hope that Saint Nicholas would stop by for a visit. Legend states that if the children were good all year long, then Saint Nicholas would fill their shoe/boot with treats like apples, nuts and candies for them to enjoy. But if they aren't good then he will place twigs in them and then they won't enjoy it! I hope I was good all year

Another tradition in Germany is to make and have Advent Calendars. Many kids in Germany love having Advent Calendars. At first, I thought an Advent Calendar was just a regular old calendar... but it's not!
Advent Calendars are used to count down the days until Christmas! So each morning, when the children wake up and open it, they not only find how many days are left until Christmas, but they also find a little picture that is usually a candle, snowman or anything else that can represent Christmas. The Advent Calendar starts on the 26 of November. This is around the time when the Christmas Spirit gets started in Germany!

I'll bet you are dying to know what Germans have to eat on Christmas because I sure was! Well, the most common things to be served are suckling pig, reisbrei (which is a sweet cinnamon) white sausage and macaroni salad. But now many germans replace the pork wiht roast beef , turkey and goose. Also, there is an old legend that goes with Christmas Eve. It is called Dickbauch (which means fat stomach.) The legend says that if you don't eat a lot (or fill up your self) demons will come haunt you during the night! So if you ever have the opportunity to go to Germany during Christmas, eat a whole bunch of food!

Many Germans think that
Christmas Eve is one of the most important times during the Christmas season! It is believed that it is a magical night because animals can speak! Do they really? I do not know but if you want to find out come to Germany during the Christmas Season!
Well I miss you and I will be home before you know it! Oh, wait tell everyone I said hi! Well, bye!

Love,
(name here)
















Christmas in Germany- Makayla Krizan
Christmas in Germany Kaley Frautschy
Christmas in Germany Jenny baron

Notes:
http://gogermany.about.com/od/historyandculture/tp/germanchristmastraditions.htm

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 "Stollen", a traditional German Christmas cake. Advent wreath was "invented" by Johann Hinrich Wichern, a German pastor, who founded an orphanage in Hamburg in 1833.

Dec.6th- Santa Claus, called Nikolaus or Weihnachtsmann ("Christmas man") in German, will come this evening to fill your shoes with sweets, oranges, walnuts, cookies, and small santa claus figurines made out of chocolate.


http://www.vistawide.com/german/christmas/german_christmas_traditions.htm

Christmas, or Weihnachten, is considered by Germans to be the most important of the major holidays. The German Christmas season officially begins with the first Sunday of Advent. Stollen, the oldest known German Christmas treat, and Christmas cookies (Plätzchen) are often baked during this time. The Advent wreath (Adventskranz) is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The Advent calendar (Adventskalender) is a German invention that was originally designed to involve children in the festivities leading up to Christmas.

http://thehistoryofchristmas.com/traditions/germany.htm

Christmas preparations often begin before December 1st. Many Germans set aside special evenings for baking spiced cakes and cookies, and making gifts and decorations. The German Christmas tree pastry, Christbaumgeback, is a white dough that can be molded into shapes and baked for tree decorations. On December 6 is Nikolaustag, St. Claus day. A shoe or boot is left outside the door on Dec.5 with hopes the following morning you find presents, if you were good - or, unfortunately a rod if you had been bad. 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.


http://www.everythingaboutgermany.com/Germany-Christmas.html

Most Germans work a half day and shops are open until the early afternoon. Gifts are usually opened on the evening of the 24th. Christmas day is a little different. Unlike the U.S., Germany celebrates two Christmas days, the 25th and the 26th.

http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/germany.htm
Kaley Frautschy











  • The feasting continues on Christmas Day with a banquet being held on this day. Traditional Christmas dishes consist of plump roast goose, "Christstollen" (long bread loaves stuffed with nuts, raisins, citron and dried fruit), "Lebkuchen" (spice bars), marzipan, and "Dresden Stollen" ( a moist, heavy bread filled with fruit).
  • From the beginning of Advent, booths and stalls are set up on the market-places in all cities where you can buy everything you need for Christmas: decorations for the tree and candles, crib figures and gingerbread (which is mainly baked and consumed at Christmas), Christmas trees, and presents for Christmas Eve.
  • Walking through such a market really is an exceptional experience. Children enjoy this most of all. The smell of fir resin and roasted almonds intermingle. Then there are all the lights from the stalls and the little stoves where sausages are fried and chestnuts roasted.
  • Songs and the sounds of music fill the air. The most famous Christkindlmarkt takes place in Nuremberg and attracts lots of visitors every year.

  • In Germany the magic of Christmas starts with the December arrival of the advent calendar. Advent starts on the first Sunday after November 26th. This time is devoted to preparations for Christmas.
  • After the four Advent Sundays are over, there follow Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Advent calendars with their bright Christmas pictures hang alongside childrens' beds.
  • If you look more closely on the advent calendars, you discover small numbers in this picture. One, two, three, and so on up to 24. Wherever the numbers are, there are small paper windows.
  • When you open the windows on the advent calendar you find a little picture on transparent paper: a candle, a ball, a snowman-whatever children like. The children open a new window every morning, and then they know that there are still twenty three days to Christmas, twenty two, twenty one, and so on. Every day Christmas Eve, so much longed for and charged with wishes, comes a little closer.

http://www.californiamall.com/holidaytraditions/traditions-germany.htm

  • The Christmas tree, as we know it, originated in Germany. It has a mysterious magic for the young because they are not allowed to see it until Christmas Eve.
  • While the children are occupied with another room (usually by Father) Mother brings out the Christmas tree and decorates it with apples, candy, nuts, cookies, cars, trains, angels, tinsel, family treasures and candles or lights.
  • Presents are placed under the tree.
  • Somewhere, close to the bright display are laid brilliantly decorated plates for each family member, loaded with fruits, nuts, marzipan, chocolate and biscuits.
  • When all is ready a bell is rung as a signal for the children to enter this Christmas fantasy room. Carols are sung, sometimes sparklers are lit, the Christmas story is read and gifts are opened.


  • "Dickbauch" means "fat stomach" and is a name given to the Christmas Eve because of the tradition that those who do not eat well on Christmas Eve will be haunted by demons during the night. So the opportunity is given to enjoy dishes such as suckling pig, "reisbrei" (a sweet cinnamon), white sausage, macaroni salad, and many regional dishes.

  • Gingerbread figures are another great tradition from Deutschland! We find examples of the famed Gingerbread House in a well-known German folk story- Hansel and Gretel. As a charming Christmas treat, the famed construction cookie has survived many years in the form of Gingerbread people and their tasty homes!


http://christmas.howstuffworks.com/christmas-traditions-around-the-world-ga6.htm

  • In the weeks leading up to Christmas, homes are filled with the delightful smells of baking loaves of sweet bread, cakes filled with candied fruits, and spicy cookies called lebkuchen.
  • Bakery windows are filled with displays of lovely marzipan confections in the shape of fruits and animals.
  • St. nick is dressed all in white, with golden wings and a golden crown.
  • Christmas Eve is the most important time of the Christmas season for families. Some even say it is a magical night when animals can speak.
  • The children leave their shoes outside the front door. These shoes are filled with carrots and hay to feed St. Nicholas' horse as he rides by. If the children were good all year, St. Nicholas leaves apples, nuts, and candy for them.
  • Following Twelve Days of Christmas, people in some parts of Germany beat drums to drive off spirits
  • On Twelfth Night, or Epiphany, on January 6, boys dress up like the Three Kings who visited Baby Jesus in the manger so long ago. They carry a star on a pole and go through the town singing Christmas carols.
  • Then the family puts away its Christmas decorations for another year, until December comes around again.

http://ezinearticles.com/?Christmas-Traditions-in-Germany&id=70986

  • In Germany children will write letters to Christkind (translated as the Christ Child), much like American children send letters to Santa in the North Pole.
  • The German children place their letters into an envelope heavily adorned with glue and sugar. These envelopes are placed on windowsills where they can glitter in the gentle light of the moon.
  • Germans love their Christmas trees just as much as Americans and Englishmen… in fact it's not uncommon to see more than one tree in a German household!
  • Bakers also produce a special type of dough called Christbaumgeback, which is molded into various shapes and hung on Christmas trees as adornments.

  • There are conflicting myths about how the Christmas tree first came to be, but one of the most common stories tells the tale of an old woodcutter that stumbled across a young hungry child in the woods. He stopped chopping trees for a bit to befriend and feed the child. Once their meal was finished the two went on their separate ways.Early during the next morning the child appeared in front of the woodcutter and his wife in the form of a spirit. He identified himself as Christkind and thanked the surprised woodcutter for his act of kindness on the previous day. To repay the woodcutter's good will, Christkind gave him the sprig of an evergreen tree and told him the tree from which the sprig came would bear fruit year round. In response to this miraculous incident, each year Germans started felling evergreen trees each winter and decorating them with ornaments, candies, candles and more.

http://www.santas.net/germanchristmas.htm
  • 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.

  • In some homes a room is locked up before Christmas. On Christmas Eve the children go to bed but are woken up at midnight by their parents and taken down to the locked room. The door is opened and they see the tree all lit up, with piles of parcels on little tables


http://www.holidaycityflash.com/germany/germany_xmas1.htm
  • Legend has it that in Germany on Christmas Eve the rivers turn to wine, the animals speak, mountains split open to reveal precious gems, and church bells can be heard ringing from the bottom of the sea.
  • Unfortunately, only the pure of heart can see these magical happenings.

German Christmas from jenny



http://german-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/christmas_in_germany

Germany is credited with giving the world many of our modern Christmas traditions, such as Christmas trees

during the 19th Century produced the first Christmas cards and the first modern image of Santa Clause

Popular Christmas foods in Germany include baked fruit loaves, bratwurst sausage, roasted nuts and the dessert known as lebkuchen


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German jenny baron




http://german-history.suite101.com/article.cfm/christmas_in_germany

German immigrants arriving in America during the 19th Century produced the first Christmas cards and the first modern image of Santa Clause

According to German Legend, wealthy landowners would hold a great feast in their hall and build an altar of flat stones heaped high with fir boughs

Popular Christmas foods in Germany include baked fruit loaves, bratwurst sausage, roasted nuts and the dessert known as lebkuchen

Lebkuchen is a reminder of Germany’s prime location during the middle ages, when it was a crossroads for international trade

No other Christmas symbol is more associated with Germany than the Christmas tree

Christmas trees as we know them today, originated in Germany

While the Christmas tree became an important symbol for German Protestants, Catholic-Germans celebrate the holiday with a traditional nativity scene. Called a krippe

Rather than Santa Clause or Saint Nicholas, the traditional gift bearer at Christmas is the Christkindl, or “Christ Child


One German legend claims that Martin Luther was responsible for introducing the use of Christmas trees in the home, in Germany. According to the legend, on his way home one evening, Martin Luther was so overcome by the beauty of a fir tree and stars in the sky, he wanted to tell his family about it. However, upon returning home, words failed him, so he went out and chopped the down and brought it home to share with his family

Another popular German Christmas tradition attributed to Martin Luther is that of the Christkindl. Christkindl means “Christ Child



http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/winter.html

German-style Christmas markets are resonating outside Germany. They are being held in the USA in Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and several other cities big and small. But the real thing is still in Germany

Christmas markets usually take place around a huge Christmas tree from the end of November to a day or two before Christmas.

Food and drink take account of the fact that these markets, contrary to all logic, are held outdoors in the middle of winte

It leans to roasted chestnuts, hot sausages and hot spiced wine.

There are no bargains there. You'll pay just what you would pay elsewhere



Augsburg

It's held on the Rathausplatz and Martin-Luther-Platz. Each year the city hall becomes one big Advent calendar, with scenes in the windows

Berlin, has many Christmas markets, at least one in each of its 12 districts.



Bernkastel-Kues

It takes place in front of the 600-year-old Michaelskirche in the old city of this famous, half-timbered wine town on the Mosel

http://www.german-way.com/christmas.html








Many “American” Christmas elements have come from German Europe

Christmas calendar is a German tradition that has become increasingly popular in the U.S. Even some American Christmas words come from German

Kris Kringle is a corruption Christkindl




One German Christmas custom the U.S. has yet to adopt is the two-day celebration. The day after Christmas Day — der zweite Weihnachtstag


http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/germany.htm



In Germany, preparations for Christmas begin before December falls. But the real celebration starts from 6th December, St. Nicholas Day, known here as "Nikolaustag

A unique aspect of the German Christmas decorations is that, kids can not take part in the beautification of the Christmas tree

Christmas tree is decorated on Christmas Eve


The father usually keeps the children in a seperate room while the mother brings out the Christmas tree from a hidden place and decorates it with apples, candy, nuts, cookies, cars, trains, angels, tinsel, family treasures and candles or lights

The Christmas Eve dinner menu traditionally comprises of delicious dishes such as suckling pig, white sausage, macaroni salad, "reisbrei" (a sweet cinnamon) and many regional dishes


The most famous of all German language Christmas songs , "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Today this famous song is translated into 44 other languages and is known all over the world.

in Germany the magic of Christmas starts with the December arrival of the advent calendar

Christmas is a time for singing and music making

There is a constant mention at Christmas of the mysterious sounds of bells and other musical instruments, present in all households
http://www.howtogermany.com/pages/winter.html

German-style Christmas markets are resonating outside Germany. They are being held in the USA in Denver, Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and several other cities big and small. But the real thing is still in Germany

The stands, which also feature handcrafted items, ceramics and wooden items, are no longer lighted by tallow candles and oil lamps, as they were in times gone by. But the soft glow of them still seems to hang in the air, especially when there is a blanket of snow. Entertainment, usually around 5 p.m., can include choral serenades or trombone recitals from a balcony overlooking the scene


Christmas in Germany Notes-makayla krizan


http://www.theholidayspot.com/christmas/worldxmas/germany.htm

The Christmas tree is an integral part of German Christmas celebrations. The Christmas tree actually originated in Germany. A unique aspect of the German Christmas decorations is that, kids can not take part in the beautification of the Christmas tree. It is believed that the tree has some mysterious spell for all young eyes that rest on it before Christmas Eve. Hence, the
Christmas tree is decorated on Christmas Eve, prior to the evening feast. The father usually keeps the children in a seperate room while the mother brings out the Christmas tree from a hidden place and decorates it with apples, candy, nuts, cookies, cars, trains, angels, tinsel, family treasures and candles or lights. The gifts are kept under the tree. Nearby, beautiful plates are laid for each family member and filled with fruits, nuts, marzipan, chocolate and biscuits. The Christmas story is usually read during this time and carols are sung. Often, sparklers are lit and gifts opened too. Apart from the Advent calendar, families also have an Advent wreath. The wreath is made of bound fir twigs to which four candles are attached. One more candle is lit for each of the Advent Sundays. In large houses, shops, and in churches, these Advent wreaths hang from the ceiling

MUSIC DURING CHRISTMAS IN GERMANY

Christmas is a time for singing and music making. There is a constant mention at Christmas of the mysterious sounds of bells and other musical instruments, present in all households. This starts with the first Sunday in Advent and reaches its peek on Christmas Eve, the Holy Evening, when the silent night should be filled with sounds that seem to come from celestial spheres. The most famous of all German language Christmas songs , "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! was first heard during Christmas 1818 at the small church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf (Austria), which is near Salzburg and the German-Austrian border. The writer of the text, Joseph Mohr, was assistant priest from 1817 to 1819. Franz Yaver Gruber, the composer, had been the teacher and organist at nearby Arnsdorf since 1807, and he also filled the latter function at Oberndorf, when no one was available. Just before Christmas 1818, Mohr suggested to Gruber that they should produce a new song for the festival. On the 24th of December he gave the musician his six verse text, leaving only a few hours till the moment the song was due to be presented. The organist's melody pleased the poet though, and the song was performed with great success. Today this famous song is translated into 44 other languages and is known all over the world.

http://www.vistawide.com/german/christmas/german_christmas_traditions.htm

When the Advent season opens, Christmas markets also crop up in nearly every German town, large or small. The town squares, normally dark early in winter months, are lit up and buzzing with activity during this time. Townspeople gather together, listen to brass band music, drink beer or hot mulled wine (Glühwein) or apple cider, and enjoy the hearty traditional fare of the region. Vendors peddle baked goods, including gingerbread hearts, sugar-roasted almonds, crepes, cookies, stollen, cotton candy and other sweets. Christmas tree decorations, seasonal items, and handcrafted articles, such as wooden toys and hand-blown glass ornaments, are also sold.