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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 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

SeasonAutumn / 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.
TimeCentral European Time (CET), Wintertime–  One hour behind  South Africa until the last Sunday of March, when Summertime starts.
WeatherDecember is one of the coldest months in Germany,. The temperature can drop well below freezing but can also warm up to above 10 °C.. The weather can be quite unpredictable, 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. Weihnachtsfeiertag25.12.2023All
2nd Day of Christmas / 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag26.12.2023All
Observations
1. Advent03.12.2023All
Saint Nicholas Day / Nikolaus-tag06.12.2023St Nicholas DayAll
2. Advent10.12.2023All
3. Advent17.12.2023All
Winter Solstice21.12.2023The 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
4. Advent24.12.2023
Christmas Eve /Heiligabend24.12.2023All
New Year’s Eve / Silvester31.12.2023New Years in GermanyAll

Events listed on our website

Voting Abroad – 17, 18 May 2024 – Berlin

18/05/2024 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm – Casting of votes at foreign missionA person who wants to cast a special vote at a foreign mission in terms of section 33(3) or (4), may do so on 17 May 2024 and 18 May 2024, between 07:00 and 19:00. More info on the IEC Website Time table  

Voting Abroad – 17, 18 May 2024 – Munich

17/05/2024 – 18/05/2024 @ 7:00 am – 7:00 pm – Casting of votes at foreign missionA person who wants to cast a special vote at a foreign mission in terms of section 33(3) or (4), may do so on 17 May 2024 and 18 May 2024, between 07:00 and 19:00. More info on the IEC Website Time table  

Trevor Noah Tour – Berlin

01/08/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 11:45 pm – Trevor Noah Off the Record Tour. The actual time is not published yet, estimated it will be in the evening We are not the organisers of this event it is shared for information purposes only Tickets via the Trevor Noah website – this will take you to the Eventim Website  

Trevor Noah Tour – Stuttgart

03/08/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 11:45 pm – Trevor Noah Off the Record Tour. The actual time is not published yet, estimated it will be in the evening We are not the organisers of this event it is shared for information purposes only Tickets via the Trevor Noah website – this will take you to the Eventim Website  

Will Linley On Magic Tour 2024

19/02/2024 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm – Will Linley On Magic Tour 2024 Goosebumps guaranteed! Capetonian rising pop star Will Linley has a show in Cologne and Berlin on 19 & 20 February, respectively. The young musician started to sing at TikTok, and his debut single with the hypnotic track “miss me (when you’e gone)” hit number one immediately. Nowadays, the talented […]

The African Picnic Festival at the Goethe Institute in Schwäbisch Hall

31/05/2024 – 02/06/2024 @ All Day – The African Picnic Festival at Goethe Institute in Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Württemberg, is the brainchild of Mthunzi Fesi, a young South African, who is also a promoter for South African artists touring Europe. The festival was first hosted on 16 June 2014. This year, the ninth edition of the festival will take place from 31 May […]

Sandy B in Berlin

22/03/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm – Kwaito & BINK legend Sandy B does a gig at the PANDA platforma in Berlin on 22 March To quote PANDA platforma: ‘Sandy B is returning to Panda to welcome Spring, just as he did early last year, aiming to bring people back to happy warm vibes with his timeless legendary sound and moves from […]

Schalk Bezuidenhout keeping up – Berlin

25/09/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Newly married, Schalk feels older, wiser and much more mature (possibly), but all he wants is to stay “hip with the youth”. Can he do it? Can he Keep Up? As seen on Netflix and Comedy Central and fresh from supporting Trevor Noah on his arena tour. This is an external event,  we are not […]

Kearsney College Choir

29/06/2024 – 06/07/2024 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm – The renowned Kearsney College Choir and Rainbow Agency, KwaZulu Natal, have the honour to inform you that former Federal President Professor Dr Horst Köhler is the patron of the choir’s concert tour to Germany from 28 June to 6 July 2024. Professor Dr Köhler will attend a concert of his choice. Kearsney College Choir has […]

Thabile – Read my lips – Hannover

24/05/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – @Thabilé is a South African-born singer and was rightly chosen as “Artist of the Year 2023” at the African Festival Award (AFA) in Würzburg. Today, Thabilé lives in Stuttgart and campaigns for better coexistence, especially for the rights of women, who are not only oppressed in South Africa. Her songs tell of difficult living conditions […]

Thabile – Read my lips – Mannheim

26/04/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – @Thabilé is a South African-born singer and was rightly chosen as “Artist of the Year 2023” at the African Festival Award (AFA) in Würzburg. Today, Thabilé lives in Stuttgart and campaigns for better coexistence, especially for the rights of women, who are not only oppressed in South Africa. Her songs tell of difficult living conditions […]

Thabile – Read my lips – Augsburg

16/02/2024 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm – @Thabilé is a South African-born singer and was rightly chosen as “Artist of the Year 2023” at the African Festival Award (AFA) in Würzburg. Today, Thabilé lives in Stuttgart and campaigns for better coexistence, especially for the rights of women, who are not only oppressed in South Africa. Her songs tell of difficult living conditions […]

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

German Christmas Recipes

Baking cookies for Christmas is what childhood memories are made of. We will list some websites here where you can find authentic Christmas recipes.  Typical

German Christmas Traditions

St. Nicholas Day St Nicholas Day, known as Nikolaustag in Germany, is celebrated on the 6th of December. Children leave a pair of cleaned boots

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