St Nickolas Day
Advent is celebrated on the 4 Sundays before Christmas. It is a Christian tradition to prepare for the arrival or coming of Jesus Christ.
The first Advent is the first Sunday after 26 November.
Advent wreaths have four large candles, which represent the four weeks of Advent and one candle is lit each Sunday. Families spend some quiet and reflective time together and sing Christmas carols. Drinking and eating typical Christmas food like Stollen, Glühwein (mulled wine), roasted almonds and chestnuts
The first candle represents Hope, the second Faith, the third Joy and the final candle Peace.
The Advent calendar counts down the four weeks leading up to Christmas Eve. Every day a new door of the calendar is opened to reveal a small chocolate or a gift. Originally they concealed a picture or bible verse.
Christmas Tree (Tannenbaum)
The first known Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers They decorated the tree with fruits, nuts, and baked goods, which the children were allowed to remove and eat on New Year’s Day.
In Germany, you set up and decorate the tree on Christmas Eve. It is traditional to use a real fir tree. The tree is taken down in January and there are specific days for disposal
Most town squares transform into beautiful Christmas markets. Traditionally there will be a big Christmas tree and Nativity scene (Krippe). Additionally, there are where you can buy delicious food, warm drinks and handmade gifts. It is a wonderful place to meet up with friends for some Glühwein while listening to carol singers
The nativity scene is called a Krippe. It is usually put up in homes, churches and Christmas markets.
You can buy the individual pieces at Christmas markets. Look for wooden hand made pieces
A wooden carousel with angels and a nativity scene. It has several levels and spins with the help of heat from candles. The larger ones you see at Christmas markets work with electricity
The average handmade nutcracker doll is made from 60 separate pieces. They are made to resemble a toy soldier.
Also called a Lichterbogen. It is a decorative candle holder to light up your home with the warm glow of candles
Time to set up the tree, enjoy a simple meal with family and exchange gifts.
The traditional meal for the 24th consists of carp, boiled potatoes, cucumber salad and lemon slices. Another alternative is Sausages with potato salad
Many families attend church services and sing traditional Christmas carols
A large meal is traditionally eaten in the afternoon or early evening.
Typical dishes include Roast goose or duck stuffed with apples, chestnuts, onions or prunes. Dumplings and Red cabbage with onions and apples are served as side dishes.