Do They Celebrate Christmas in Germany?

As someone who loves to learn about different cultures and their holiday traditions, I’m excited to share with you everything you need to know about Christmas in Germany! If you’ve ever wondered, “Do they celebrate Christmas in Germany?” – the answer is a resounding yes! However, the way they celebrate may surprise you. So let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of German Christmas traditions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the history of Christmas in Germany, how it’s celebrated, traditional foods and decorations, as well as unique traditions like Christmas markets and Christmas Eve celebrations. You’ll also discover other holidays celebrated in Germany during the Christmas season, and tips for traveling to Germany during this magical time of year. So, are you ready to discover the magic of Christmas in Germany? Let’s get started!

History of Christmas in Germany

Christmas in Germany has a rich history that dates back to the fourth century. It all began with the celebration of the winter solstice, a pagan festival that marked the shortest day of the year. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ was integrated into this pagan festival.

The Christmas tree is a central part of German Christmas traditions and has its origins in the sixteenth century. Legend has it that Martin Luther, the German religious reformer, was the first person to decorate a Christmas tree with candles. Over time, this tradition spread throughout Germany and then to other parts of the world.

Another important aspect of German Christmas traditions is the Advent wreath, which is a wreath made of evergreen branches and four candles. One candle is lit on each of the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. The Advent wreath is a symbol of the four weeks of Advent, which is the period of preparation for Christmas.

Despite its long history, Christmas in Germany has evolved over time. Today, German Christmas traditions are a blend of ancient pagan customs and Christian practices. From the beautiful Christmas markets to the delicious traditional foods, Christmas in Germany is truly a magical time of year.

How is Christmas Celebrated in Germany?

When it comes to Christmas celebrations, Germany has a lot to offer. One of the most beloved traditions is the advent calendar, where each day leading up to Christmas is marked with a small gift or treat. Germans also decorate their homes with wreaths, candles, and wooden figurines called “nutcrackers”.

On Christmas Eve, families gather together to exchange gifts and enjoy a festive meal of roasted goose, dumplings, and red cabbage. The evening often ends with attending midnight mass. Christmas Day is typically a quieter affair, with many families enjoying a day at home together.

Traditional Christmas Foods in Germany

German cuisine is known for its hearty and comforting dishes, and this is no different during the Christmas season. One of the most popular dishes is the Weihnachtsgans, or Christmas goose, which is usually stuffed with apples, onions, and chestnuts. Another popular dish is the Christstollen, a sweet bread made with dried fruit, nuts, and spices. And of course, no Christmas table in Germany is complete without Lebkuchen, a type of gingerbread cookie that is often decorated with icing.

In addition to these classic dishes, there are also regional specialties that are enjoyed during the holidays. For example, in the region of Bavaria, a popular dish is the Schweinsbraten, a roast pork dish served with dumplings and red cabbage. In the north of Germany, a popular dessert is the Rote Grütze, a fruit pudding made with red berries and served with cream or vanilla sauce.

Christmas Markets in Germany

One of the most beloved traditions of the Christmas season in Germany is the Christmas market, or “Weihnachtsmarkt” in German. These markets are held in towns and cities all over Germany, and they are a festive and cozy way to get into the Christmas spirit. Christmas markets usually open in late November or early December, and they continue until Christmas Eve.

At Christmas markets, you can find all sorts of gifts and souvenirs, such as handmade ornaments, candles, toys, and other crafts. You can also find plenty of delicious food and drinks, such as gingerbread cookies, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, and hot cocoa. The markets are decorated with twinkling lights and festive decorations, and there is often live music and entertainment to enjoy.

Some of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany include the ones in Nuremberg, Dresden, and Berlin. The Nuremberg Christmas market, or “Christkindlesmarkt,” is one of the oldest and most traditional Christmas markets in Germany. It has been held since the 16th century, and it is famous for its gingerbread cookies and handmade ornaments. The Dresden Christmas market, or “Striezelmarkt,” is another popular market that is known for its Stollen cake and wooden toys. The Berlin Christmas market, or “Weihnachtszauber,” is one of the largest markets in Germany, and it features over 200 vendors selling a wide variety of gifts and food.

Visiting a Christmas market in Germany is a must-do experience for anyone who loves Christmas. The markets are a wonderful way to soak up the holiday atmosphere, and they offer a glimpse into the rich cultural traditions of Germany.

Christmas Decorations in Germany

One of the most magical things about Christmas in Germany is the beautiful decorations that adorn cities and towns throughout the country. From twinkling lights to ornate ornaments, the German approach to holiday decor is truly special.

A popular decoration in Germany is the Advent wreath, which is a circular wreath made of fir branches and adorned with four candles. Each candle represents one of the four Sundays of Advent, and one candle is lit on each Sunday leading up to Christmas. The tradition of the Advent wreath originated in Germany in the 19th century and has since spread throughout the world.

Another popular decoration in Germany is the Christmas pyramid, which is a tiered wooden structure that typically features carved figures and is powered by candle heat. As the candles heat the air, the pyramid spins, creating a mesmerizing display.

Of course, no German Christmas would be complete without a Tannenbaum, or Christmas tree. The tradition of decorating a tree for Christmas originated in Germany in the 16th century and has since become a beloved tradition around the world. In Germany, it’s traditional to decorate the tree with real candles, which are carefully lit and monitored throughout the holiday season.

Finally, many German cities and towns boast beautiful Christmas markets during the holiday season. These markets are typically filled with vendors selling handcrafted goods, food and drink, and of course, holiday decorations. It’s a wonderful place to soak up the festive atmosphere and pick up some unique decorations to take home with you.

Christmas Eve Traditions in Germany

Christmas Eve, or Heiligabend, is the most important day of the Christmas season in Germany. It is a time for families to come together and celebrate the holiday.

One of the most beloved traditions is the lighting of the Christmas tree. Many families decorate the tree together on Christmas Eve, and it is not lit until after dinner. Once the tree is lit, families exchange gifts and sing Christmas carols.

Another popular tradition is attending Midnight Mass. In Germany, this service is known as Christmette. It is a solemn and beautiful service that marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration.

Food is also an important part of Christmas Eve celebrations in Germany. Many families enjoy a festive meal that includes roasted goose, potato dumplings, and red cabbage. For dessert, traditional treats include Stollen, Lebkuchen, and Marzipan.

Overall, Christmas Eve is a time of joy and togetherness in Germany. It is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and to create lasting memories with family and loved ones.

Christmas Day in Germany

Christmas Day in Germany is a time for families to come together and celebrate the holiday season. It is typically a quiet and reflective day, with many people attending church services in the morning. Afterward, families often gather for a festive meal, which traditionally includes roasted meats such as goose or turkey, as well as a variety of sides and desserts. Some families also exchange gifts on Christmas Day, while others save that tradition for Christmas Eve.

One unique aspect of Christmas Day in Germany is the tradition of “second Christmas day,” which falls on December 26th. This day is also a public holiday in Germany and is often spent visiting with extended family members or friends. It is also a popular day for sporting events, such as soccer matches, and for shopping sales.

Overall, Christmas Day in Germany is a time for rest, reflection, and celebration with loved ones. It is a reminder of the importance of family and community, and of the joy and peace that can be found in coming together during the holiday season.

Other Holidays Celebrated in Germany

Germany is a country that celebrates several holidays throughout the year. While Christmas is undoubtedly the most popular, there are plenty of other special occasions that are celebrated with equal enthusiasm.

One of the most significant national holidays in Germany is Unity Day, which commemorates the country’s reunification in 1990. It is celebrated on October 3rd and is a public holiday across the country. On this day, there are parades and celebrations held in cities and towns throughout Germany.

Another important holiday is May Day, which is celebrated on May 1st. May Day is a traditional spring festival that has been celebrated in Germany since the 16th century. On this day, people decorate maypoles with ribbons and flowers and dance around them. There are also parades and other festivities held in many cities and towns.

Carnival is another popular holiday in Germany, especially in the Rhineland region. It takes place in the weeks leading up to Lent, usually in February or March. During Carnival, people dress up in costumes and attend parties and parades. The highlight of the celebrations is Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, which features large parades with floats and music.

Other holidays celebrated in Germany include New Year’s Day, Easter, Pentecost, and Ascension Day. Each of these holidays has its own unique traditions and celebrations, and they are an important part of the country’s culture and history.

Traveling to Germany During the Christmas Season

If you’re planning to visit Germany during the Christmas season, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, it’s important to book your accommodations and transportation in advance, as this is a popular time for travel. Additionally, be prepared for colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours, as December is typically one of the coldest months in Germany.

That being said, traveling to Germany during the Christmas season can be a truly magical experience. From the festive Christmas markets to the stunning holiday decorations, there’s plenty to see and do. In particular, some of the must-visit destinations during the Christmas season include Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg, and Cologne.

During your travels, be sure to indulge in some of the traditional Christmas foods that Germany has to offer, such as stollen, Lebkuchen, and Glühwein. And if you’re looking for a unique holiday experience, consider attending a Christmas concert or attending a religious service on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Overall, traveling to Germany during the Christmas season can be a wonderful way to experience the country’s rich culture and traditions. Just be sure to plan ahead and pack accordingly for the colder weather.


Germany is a wonderful country to experience during the Christmas season. From the historic traditions to the delicious food and beautiful decorations, it’s no wonder why so many people flock to Germany to experience the holiday spirit.

If you’re planning a trip to Germany during the Christmas season, make sure to check out the Christmas markets, try some traditional Christmas foods like Stollen and Lebkuchen, and experience the unique Christmas Eve traditions like opening presents and attending midnight mass.

Overall, Christmas in Germany is an unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss. So pack your bags and get ready to make some unforgettable memories in one of the most magical places during the most wonderful time of the year!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *