The Christmas tree is a true German tradition. It was used here for the first time in the 15th century, and since then this wonderful custom has spread over the world. Here, we are very attached to our Christmas tree customs, and a German Christmas without the fir tree is simply unthinkable.
Traditionally, the Christmas tree is decorated on Christmas Eve, prior to the evening feast and stays up until January 6, the day of Epiphany (the last day of Christmas when the Magi arrived at the manger). In contrast to this all the public Christmas trees are decorated long before, usually on the 1st day of Advent. Many of them are outdoors in public squares, but also every major shop, company, church, etc. has its own Christmas tree.
Cutting the tree – Weihnachtsbaum schlagen
Nowadays, there’s a whole industry that caters to the need for fir and pine trees. Millions of trees are grown on farms for the sole purpose of being used as Christmas trees.
During Advent there are tree stands at basically every corner. But if you don’t want just any Christmas tree, but your special tree, then you can make buying your tree a special event. Families, especially with children, spend an entire day visiting a pick-your-own farm.
The farm provides saws to cut the tree, and usually the children are allowed to choose, but the father cuts the tree and brings it to the car. Many pick-your-own farms make a special occasion out of getting a Christmas tree and provide food and drink as well as performances and educational exhibitions about the tree-farming industry.
If you ever have the chance to visit Germany during Advent, you definitely should visit one of the Christmas tree farms (even if you don’t want to buy a tree) with your children.
About the Author
Marion Kummerow has lived in many parts of Germany and the world until she settled down in Munich with her family. She owns the website www.inside-munich.com and loves Christmas time! Her new Kindle ebook “German Christmas Traditions
” is available at Amazon for instant download.