Weihnachten – How to celebrate Christmas in Germany

Weihnachten – 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!

Weihnachten in Germany

In Germany, Christmas is called “Weihnachten” which is a compound of the verb “weihen” which means consecrate and the noun “Nacht” which means night. As a consequence, the word “Weihnachten” means consecrated night. In Germany, it consists of three holidays. Despite many other countries, the celebration already starts on the 24th of December. We call this day “Heilig Abend” which means holy evening. The name bases on the assumption that it was Jesus’ birthday.

 

Heilig Abend

Normally, families will meet up on “Heilig Abend”. They tend to eat less fancy food like “Kartoffelsalat und Würstchen” which is a potato salad and sausages. Very popular are also “die Suppe” which is a soup or “Fondue”. At around 5 or 6 pm, one can find the presents “die Geschenke” under the “Weihnachtsbaum” which is the Christmas tree. If you are lucky, the “Weihnachtsmann” brings them. This is the German Santa Claus. People also greet each other with “Frohe Weihnachten” (Merry Christmas).

For the sweet tooth

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.

 

Church at Weihnachten

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.

 

25th and 26th of December

Following “Heilig Abend”, also the 25th and the 26th of December are holidays and nothing will be open! Germans call them “Erster Weihnachtsfeiertag” which means the 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.

 

Weihnachten in German

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!

Steffie

 

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