Celebrating Christmas and Advent in Germany
Germany is famous for its quiet and contemplative Christmas. The streets are full of Christmas market stalls with seasonal handicrafts, snack bars, and booths offering cups of mulled wine while all around people clutch bulging carrier bags as a sign of the annual shopping rush worth several billion euros. The great gift exchange takes place on the night of December 24, the holy night or “Heiligabend.” This is usually a real family evening with a light dinner. Many families go to church either before or after the celebration. The candles on the Christmas tree are lit, and a bell is rung to let the children know that the “Christkind” brought their presents.
Nuremberg Christmas market
Attracting two million visitors annually, Nuremberg Christmas market or Christkindlesmarkt is likely the most well-known outside of Germany. Its prominence lies in its traditional role as a marketplace for handcrafted wooden figurines and decorations. Early historical evidence of the market dates back to 1628. It is also known for the tradition of the Christkind or Christmas Angel, a girl dressed as an angel who opens the market on the Friday before the first advent Sunday by reciting a solemn prologue. The Christmas Angel is played by teenage girl from Nuremberg.
Welcome to the Germany.info Advent Calendar
Open a new window each day to discover games, music, crafts and recipes that we hope will bring a touch of German Christmas tradition to your holiday season. Enjoy!
A man with a long white beard, a bishop’s miter, and a thick red cape comes knocking on the door at some houses every December 6. Other children wake to find their shoes have been filled with treats. Who is this international man of mystery?