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South Africans in Germany

December

In December the main focus is on Christmas, and the Germans have many Christmas traditions to celebrate.

Christmas markets are a very big part of these traditions. Meet up with friends at these beautifully decorated markets where you can buy delicious food, glühwein, handmade items and Christmas cards. Some markets are themed, such as the middle age market in Esslingen or the baroque one in Ludwigsburg. There are also Christmas market tours that you can do. 
To avoid crowds, it is best to go during the day, although you will miss out on the cosy nighttime atmosphere enhanced by the countless Christmas lights and decorations.

Christmas day is usually a quiet day spent with family. Shops are closed as well as most restaurants.

After the quiet celebrations of Christmas day, comes New Year’s Eve. Here it is celebrated with a bang – literally! Fireworks can be seen everywhere. Just take a note that fireworks are legally sold between 28-30 December and you are only able to light them from 31 Dec through 1 Jan.

It is also a bit of a tradition to watch Dinner for One on New Year’s Eve, eat Raclette and wash it down with a good Riesling or Sekt

Plan your month

everything you need to know

Weather

Season Autumn / Winter.
The astronomical start of winter is between 20 and 23 December. It is based on the changing position of Earth in relation to the sun and the resulting solar events of equinoxes and solstices.
Meteorological Winter is defined by climatic conditions and the annual temperature cycle. 
In most of the Northern Hemisphere, meteorological winter is generally defined as the three months of December, January and February, with the season starting on 1 December.
Time Central European Time (CET), Winter time–  One hour behind  South Africa until the last Sunday of March, when Summertime starts.
Weather

The temperature can drop well below freezing but can also warm up to above 10 °C.
Depending on your location, expect a lot or rain, ice rain, frost, fog and some snow. The mountainous regions will get more snow than the low-lying areas. Christmas is rarely a postcard image of white snow all over.

Festivals

Most Christmas markets open at the end of November and stay open until just before Christmas. We have a page dedicated to Christmas markets, with information about the types of food you can expect, and some insider tips from fellow South Africans.
In various cities, you can visit Christmas Gardens, which are a festival of Christmas lights

Christmas Markets

Visiting Christmas markets in Germany is a delightful way of celebrating the festive season. The heavy scent of sweets, fried sausage and warm wine welcome

Holidays

HolidayDateInformationStates
Public Holidays
1st Day of Christmas / 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag25.12.2022All
2nd Day of Christmas / 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag26.12.2022All
Observations
2. Advent04 DecemberAll
Saint Nicholas Day / Nikolaus-tag06.12.2022St Nicholas DayAll
3. Advent11.12.2022All
4. Advent18.12.2022All
Winter Solstice21.12.2022The winter solstice, also known as midwinter, occurs when one of the Earth’s poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. It is the longest night (darkness) in the year.All
Christmas Eve /Heiligabend24.12.2022All
New Year’s Eve / Silvester31.12.2022New Years in GermanyAll

Events listed on our website

Charity wine tasting and silly hat evening

24/02/2023 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm –

Join Sawabona Africa at the charity wine tasting and silly hat evening in partnership with Blue Heron wineshop in Munich on Friday 24 February 2022 at 6pm.

Virtual Kuier Hoekie – February 2023

09/02/2023 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Join us for a casual monthly virtual get-together. The idea is to get to know other Southern Africans, support each other, and share our ideas and tips on life in Germany. The current format is a skype call. We will create a meeting link, you do not need skype to participate, you can connect via […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

29/01/2023 @ 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

28/01/2023 @ 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

27/01/2023 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

26/01/2023 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

22/01/2023 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

21/01/2023 @ 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

20/01/2023 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

19/01/2023 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

15/01/2023 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Art Exhibition by Bella Illenberger

14/01/2023 @ 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm – I am a South African-born artist living in Munich and have my first solo exhibition coming up that will run from 13.01 – 29.01 at Feierwerk Farbenladen, in Munich. The opening night is next Friday, 13th January at 18:00 and there will be music, drinks and snacks at the venue.  Quite a few of my South African family […]

Some foods and drinks to try

01.

Glühwein

Hot mulled wine to warm you up at the Christmas markets. The alcohol free version is called Kinderpunch

02.

Feuerzangenbowle

a traditional German alcoholic drink for which a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drips into mulled wine

03.

Stollen

The best you can buy is Dresden Stollen, which is more expensive but excellent quality

04.

Cookies

Try Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Elisen (also gingerbread but with more nuts inside), Zimtsterne (star-shaped cookies), Pfeffernüsse (iced gingerbread), Vanillekipferln (vanilla cookies shaped like a moon) or Springerle (anise flavoured hard cookie)

05.

Raclette

The ultimate cheese fest! You can find more info on our Raclette page

Fruit and Veggies in Season

Holiday Greetings

December Seasonal
Ich wünsche euch allen einen wunderschönen geruhsamen 1.AdventI wish you all a wonderful peaceful 1st Advent
Frohe Weihnachten!Merry Christmas!
Gesegnete Weihnachten und ein glückliches neues Jahr!Merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Herzliche Weihnachtsgrüße!Merry Christmas!
Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und alles Gute zum neuen Jahr!Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Alles Gute zum neuen Jahr!Happy new year!
Einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!Happy New Year!
Zum neuen Jahr Gesundheit, Glück und viel Erfolg!Happy New Year! health, happiness and much success!

Sources

Related content

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Christmas Markets

Visiting Christmas markets in Germany is a delightful way of celebrating the festive season. The heavy scent of sweets, fried sausage and warm wine welcome

Raclette

The summer months are gone, and for most of us, it is too cold to have a braai with our friends. A great alternative is