Weihnachten is a quiet time in Germany. People are in a thoughtful mood. Towns have decorated their streetlights and businesses with christmas lights and branches of pine-needle and fir-needle trees. Everything appears in red and dark
green. The colors of “Weihnachten” in Germany. Houses are usually scarcely decorated. You might see some lights in a window, or figures painted on windows with snow spray, but usually nothing too fancy. Every town has their own little
“Christkindlmarkt”, which is a market-fest, where people gather to enjoy the christmas time. Larger cities like Frankfurt or Nürnberg have large markets, and attract many tourists. Little booths are lined up, and sell anything from hand made ornaments to musical clocks -playing slow, sad-sounding christmas tunes-. Of course there is food: the favorites are hot, roasted “Maronen”
(an edible chestnut)and everyone, including older kids, drink “Glühwein”. A red wine, which is heated up over fire and served in steaming cups. Weihnachten is introduced by the “Adventszeit”. People sing really slow songs, they sound almost depressing. The radio plays church- and operasounding classical music all day. This makes the whole season very quiet and sensual. People bake “Weihnachts Stollen”, a fruit-cake
made from yeast, which has rum and “marzipan” in it. Four sundays counted backwards from the one right before christmas, a wreath with four candles is placed in the middle of the mainroom of the house. Every sunday another candle is lit, until all four are burning. Kids get an Adventskalender, which is a calendar that has little doors with dates from the 1st til 24th. Every morning
the kid is allowed to open the door of that particular date. Most are hand-made, some are bought. They can contain chocolate or littles toys.
December 6th is “Nikolaus Tag”, on this day kids usually receive a chocolate santa with
other candy, and a small toy.
Three to two weeks prior to Christmas the tree is put up in the main room of the house.
The main night of christmas is “Heilig Abend”. Heilig Abend is the “Bescherung”.
The family usually has the “Weihnachtsmann” knock on the door and give presents.
After Bescherung is dinner. “Weihnachtsgans”, goose, is commonly served.
The next days are 1st and 2nd Weihnachtstag (First and second day of christmas). People visit
their relatives that couldn’t come on Heilig Abend, and do more Bescherung.
The tree gets taken down on january 6th, Tag der Heiligen drei Könige (Day of the three kings, a holiday in Germany). That is the day all decorations are shuffed back in the cellar.
I hope you had fun reading this. Writing it, made me a little homesick..
Fröhliche Weihnachten und gute Bescherung wünscht Ihnen Patricia von Houston, Texas