Sunday, December 21, 2008

German Christmas Traditions That I'm Familiar With

For this upcoming edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy, I am supposed to write about Christmas (or Hanukkah) traditions, and I decided to write about a couple of German Christmas traditions that I know. (At the moment, I am writing this off the top of my head, so if I make a mistake, please let me know. I will try to correct any mistakes as soon as I can.)

Outside of having a Christmas tree, the next Christmas tradition that I associate with Germany is the Advent Calender. An Advent Calender is a box that has twenty-five doors that contain little chocolate candies behind them. The twenty-five doors count up to the days until Christmas beginning with December 1st. In Germany, the family opens up one of the doors in the calender, each night up to Christmas, and reads the saying on the back of the door. (I first learned about Advent Calenders when I started studying German in school.)

Another German Christmas tradition that I am familiar with is the two day celebration of Christmas in Germany. Christmas is celebrated in Germany on Christmas Eve and Christmas, and on Christmas Eve, presents are opened. (I think Christmas day is celebrated more solemnly than Christmas Eve, but I've forgotten if that is the case.) Of course, celebrating Christmas over two days is probably similar to other European countries and not just unique to Germany.

So, those are two German Christmas traditions that I am familiar with, and even though I have only mentioned two, there are other Christmas traditions in Germany.

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