How Germans Celebrate Christmas

Last Updated on 3 years ago by Nicky Johnson

As the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas has a special place in the heart of many people around the world. Even those who don’t observe other holidays as strongly get into the festive spirit during Christmas.

This also holds for Germany, which is credited with popularizing traditions such as the Christmas tree itself. But that’s not the only distinct custom that originates out of the country.

As a matter of fact, many German Christmas ornaments and traditions are currently used throughout the world. From tinsel to Advent calendars, the European country has an impressive set of contributions to the festive season.

Keeping this in mind, it’s natural to wonder exactly how the Germans celebrate Christmas in a country that has invented modern holiday celebrations as we know them.

Fortunately, the answers are not hard to find. By going through the following information, you can quickly get acquainted with German Christmas traditions and customs in no time.


German Christmas Ornaments Are a Big Part of the Holiday

Being the originators of the Christmas tree tradition from the 16th century, Germans leave no holds barred for using ornaments on the tree.

This includes tinsel, which was first used in the early 1600s; Christmas angels or Weihnachtsengel, which are a staple of the holiday; and Christmas orbs, which are commonly made out of glass. You can find these ornaments in different shapes and sizes, which makes them perfect for every tree.

All of these ornaments are seen on almost every Christmas tree in Germany. But this also holds for the world, where these items have become a part of countless households.

The Advent Calendar is a Beloved Tradition Among People of All Ages

Apart from Christmas trees and ornaments, another prominent German tradition comes in the form of Advent calendars. Now available throughout the world, these calendars start from December 1 and end on December 24, with treats often hidden behind each date.

Like German Christmas ornaments, the Advent calendar can be easily sourced through specialty shops and typical retailers. But it’s also common for families to make their own calendars for a personal touch.

These days, you can also find digital Advent calendars that are available through apps and websites. This has also helped the tradition become a global phenomenon in recent years.

Christmas Eve Often Kicks Off the Multi-day Celebration

Many Germans start their Christmas traditions in the first week of December. This includes customs such as Advent wreaths to light weekly candles or Krampusnacht to mark the presence of Santa’s counterpart for naughty children.

On the other hand, Christmas Eve or Weihnachten kicks off the multi-day celebrations that continue on Christmas Day and the day afterward. On Weihnachten, activities such as going to church, watching a nativity play, and gift exchange are widely observed.

Similar to the rest of the world, kids often find their presents under the tree on Christmas Eve itself. But in some cases, the gifts are also given in person to represent the generosity of Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.


Christmas Markets Are Yet Another Contribution to the World

With all the German Christmas ornaments and traditions to follow by choice, it can seem pretty hectic to put everything together before the big day. In some cases, the practice of Christmas markets becomes a significant help.

These Christmas markets are present during the holiday season and have all the Christmas items you might need. They also serve traditional Christmas foods and beverages such as the Feuerzangenbowle, a mulled wine mixed with a rum-soaked sugarloaf.

With their festive lights and utmost joy, these Christmas markets truly ignite the festive spirit in even the most nonchalant hearts. They are also the inspiration behind the tradition’s popularity around the world.

All in all, the Germans get credit for modern-day Christmas celebrations and cherish them in their homeland with the utmost joy.