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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

South African London Boat Party in London

19/08/2023 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Join a bunch of fun-loving South Africans for a 3-hour party cruise on the Thames followed by a gathering at a local pub/club for the Ultimate South African After Party. When Summer is in London, it is time for the best jol, the South Africans Boat Party on the Thames River. Join a bunch of […]

African Picnic Schwäbisch Hall

16/06/2023 – 17/06/2023 @ All Day – Music, art and culture of Africa This is an external event share for information purposes only Info can be found on their website 

SIBUSILE XABA & ESINAM at Privatclub Berlin

31/05/2023 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – This is an external event and only shared by us for information purposes Sibusile Xaba and ESINAM are kindred spirits in music and their collaboration brings healing to body and soul. As multi-instrumentalists, the two artists translate messages from their ancestors through rhythms and grooves. Their vocals heighten the trance into rhythmic patterns that bring […]

Jo Black live in Amsterdam 15 July

15/07/2023 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Jo Black – Hoop in Afrikaans Jo Black bring HOOP vir SLEGS EEN AAND in Amsterdam, op 15 Julie 23. Dit is die eerste keer wat Jo sy treffers na Nederland bring. Voorvertoning deur Dewald Wasserfall This is an external event and not organised by us, we share it for information purposes only Tickets can […]

INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES Exhibition – Berlin Gropius Bau

05/04/2023 – 13/08/2023 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm – The Gropius Bau and SAVVY Contemporary are delighted to present the project INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES: RE-NAVIGATING THE AFRASIAN SEA AND NOTIONS OF DIASPORA – running from 6 April to 13 August 2023 at the Gropius Bau and from 21 April to 4 June 2023 at SAVVY Contemporary. The multi-chapter exhibition brings together works […]

INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES Exhibition – Berlin

20/04/2023 – 04/06/2023 @ 2:00 pm – 7:00 pm – South African multidisciplinary artist Thania Petersen at SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin as of 20 April 2023: The Gropius Bau and SAVVY Contemporary are delighted to present the project INDIGO WAVES AND OTHER STORIES: RE-NAVIGATING THE AFRASIAN SEA AND NOTIONS OF DIASPORA – running from 6 April to 13 August 2023 at the Gropius Bau and […]

Afrika festival in Birkenried 26 – 29 May

26/05/2023 – 29/05/2023 @ All Day – Afrika festival in Birkenried – Music food and good vibes This is an external event that we share for information purposes only. We are not responsible for ticketsales   More info – http://www.afrika.birkenried.de/

Trevor Noah in Berlin

28/06/2023 – 01/07/2023 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – South African comedian Trevor Noah has shows booked for Berlin. This is an external event that we share for information purposes. We are not responsible for ticket sales. Tickets can be bought on Eventim Dates 28 June to 01 July. Tickets for 27 June are sold out

Fokofpolisiekar in Leuven Belgium 16 June

16/06/2023 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – Fokofpolisiekar has one concert in Leuven in Belgium. This is an external event and we share it just for information purposes. We are not responsible for any ticket sales Tickets available from Het Depot

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