Cultures of every kind that celebrate Christmas merriment possess their own style and traditions to make the holiday one-of-a-kind. Where there are special delicacies, there are amazing Christmas markets too. Where there are drizzles of Christmas gifts, there are layers of some unbelievably delicious recipes of beverages too. Summing it all up along with a lot more to discover, let’s get you a sneak peek into the joyous rejoicing of this tide of the festival especially when it’s the tide of Christmas in Germany. By Shrestha Purkayastha
What makes the celebration of Christmas in Germany stand out from the rest of the world?
The initial aroma of Christmas drops in when ginger biscuits and gingerbreads start showing up on the shelves of almost every store as soon as September arrives. From Advent’s first Sunday, Christmas markets start striking the roads and Christmas lights radiate the essence of Christmas up and down the land. A huge section of Christmas jubilee in Germany is Advent. Various types of Advent can be found in German residencies. Including the usual ones made up of cards and utilised in several countries, there are also the ones made out of bouquets of branches of Fir trees with 24 embellished bags or boxes swinging from them.
What does a traditional Christmas in Germany look like?
For starters, Christmas trees hold an extremely important symbol in Germany. They were used for the first time in Germany during the late Middle Ages. The trees are quietly decked up by the mothers if the family bears young children in the house. Commonly, the Christmas tree was led into the house on the Eve of Christmas. After sunset, the families would read the Bible followed by the Christmas carol. This happens only in a few parts of Germany.
To make the homes look even prettier, wooden frameworks enveloped with plastic sheets and electric candles are placed on the windows. Additionally, this tradition of Scherenschnitte, that is paper cutting, is followed, where patterns of Christmas, such as balls and bells and scenes of Yule are cut out of paper and then various coloured cellophane papers are placed behind the windows to make it seem like a dyed glass. Christmas Eve is considered the primary day when Germans exchange gifts with their friends and families. Christmas in Germany observes December 25 as the first celebration and December 26 as the second celebration.
The popularity of Christmas markets in Germany
Christmas markets are something that Germany is popularly renowned for. When you spend Christmas in Germany, expect the markets to get flooded with decorations and food of possibly every kind. Glass ornaments are reasonably the most recognised German decorations. Not just that, even the time-honoured wooden adornments, namely Nutcrackers are equally famous in the Christmas markets. In certain sections of Germany, primarily the southeast part of the country, children pen down their wishes to the ‘Christkind’, that is ‘The Christ Child.’ The designs of the same letters are glued to the envelope using sugar, to compose them into charming pieces of attention. These very letters are left by the children on the ledge of the window during or at the beginning of Advent.
Here, the Christkind is usually designated as a young girl who owns qualities like that of Christ. So, in Nurnberg, a young girl is picked every year to take part in a parade resembling the Christkind. The Nurnberg Christkind formally inaugurates the Christmas market on a Friday, prior to the beginning of Advent. Father Christmas or rather Santa Claus mainly delivers Christmas presents on December 24. Some believe it to be Santas Claus himself and some believe it to be the Cristkind! This warm tradition is one of the many remarkable things that make the entire Christmas in Germany so special in its way.
What are the favoured feasts to sup and gulp during Christmas in Germany?
Christmas dinner is one of the much-awaited Christmas traditions in Germany. The usual Christmas meal counts a roast, a rabbit, a duck, or a goose. This main dish is escorted by delicacies of German, namely sausage stuffing, apples, potato dumplings, and red cabbage. Christmas Stollen, one of the most treasured Christmas pastries in the entire world, is usually the dessert that becomes a part of the menu. The popularly delicious Stollen does look similar to a fruit cake but the difference between the tastes is always prominent. This lip-smacking version is structured with cone-shaped ends and has a fold down the centre, representing the Baby Jesus bandaged with clothes. The other two major delights equally contribute to defining Christmas in Germany as one-of-its-kind:
Gluhwein, also known as Glow wine, is a famous alcoholic drink to savour during Christmas in Germany. Gluhwein is a warmed-up red wine that is presented out of small cabins at the feasts. It is commonly served during Christmas time but you can surely buy it throughout the years at any liquor store in Germany. This German mulled wine is considered the ultimate taste of Christmas. The Gluhwein shows up in petite decked-up mugs, which travellers and tourists can carry with them to their homes as an expensively worthwhile souvenir.
The classic gingerbread that you’ll find endlessly in the Christmas markets is thoroughly coated with chocolate. You will find them in different sizes and shapes, some are embellished and some are not. These gingerbreads have been traditionally lighting up a good portion of the feast during Christmas in Germany. The city of Nurnberg delivers the utmost amount of gingerbread that could be located across Germany during the holiday tide.
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