How to celebrate Christmas in Germany

How to celebrate Christmas in Germany

Despite the fact that Christmas is celebrated in so many countries, it is different everywhere. After reading this article, you will know how Weihnachten is celebrated in Germany and which words you need to know!

In Germany, Christmas is called “Weihnachten” which is a compound of “weihen” which means consecrate and “Nacht” which means night and so it is a consecrated night. It consists of three holidays and despite many other countries, the celebration starts on the 24th of December with “Heilig Abend” which means holy evening as it is assumed that Jesus was born.

Normally, families will meet up on “Heilig Abend” and eat less fancy food like “Kartoffelsalat und Würstchen” which is a potato salad and sausages, “Suppe” which is a soup or “Fondue”. At around 5 or 6 the presents “die Geschenke” can be found under the “Weihnachtsbaum” which is the Christmas tree and if you are lucky they are brought by the “Weihnachtsmann” which is the German Santa Claus. People also greet each other with “Frohe Weihnachten” (Merry Christmas).

Besides the presents, one normally can find a lot of sweets, “Plätzchen” (Christmas cookies) of all kinds and the classical “Weihnachtsstollen” which is kind of a special Christmas cake which needs to ripe for some time until it reached its taste to be eaten.

Depending on how religious people are, they go to the church at midnight to celebrate the “Christmette” and also visit the celebrations in church on the 25th of December.

Following “Heilig Abend”, also the 25th and the 26th of December are holidays and nothing will be open! In German, they are called “Erster Weihnachtsfeiertag” which means first Christmas holiday and “zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which means the second Christmas holiday.

Most people meet with their wider families on the second and third holiday and cook huge dinners. They enjoy the time in “Besinnlichkeit” (contemplation) in which they manage to meet everybody and have time to finally enjoy each other.


Now, after reading this article, you should know what Germans do on Christmas you which vocabulary you need to know.


Frohe Weihnachten und bis bald!



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