In German, Christmas is called Weihnachten. Since bread and potatoes are the staple foods in Germany, bread bakeries are extremely busy during the Christmas season. I think many in Japan are also familiar with the Christmas cake called Stollen.
While baking cookies and cakes, German children sing this very charming song.
In der Weihnachtsbäckerei
In the Christmas Bakery
For Germans, Christmas is the day that Jesus Christ was born into this world and is a holy Christian festival to celebrate his birth.
Advent begins on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas, and for Germans is an important four weeks of the year that they look forward to.
Christmas Markets are held during Advent in marketplaces in Germany and Austria. People forget the cold and thoroughly enjoy the wonderful Christmas Markets while drinking spiced mulled wine.
Out of all the various street stalls that line the market square, what really pulls you in are the wooden products. Nutcracker dolls, incense smokers, Christmas pyramid and the like are crowded together on the shelves. Heartwarming wooden dolls are a must item at Christmas. They create a Christmassy atmosphere while being practical at the same time.
Christmas is a special month for children. The Advent calendar is one way they enjoy it. Each day from December 1st–24th/25th is numbered on the calendar, and inside are toys and candy. Children eat one chocolate a day as they count down the days to Christmas.
The Advent wreath is prepared on the Sunday four weeks before Christmas.
Four candles are placed in a wreath made from materials such as fir branches and lit on Advent Sunday in a count down to Christmas.
1st Advent One candle is lit on the 4th Sunday before Christmas.
2nd Advent Two candles are lit on the 3rd Sunday before Christmas.
3rd Advent Three candles are lit on the 2nd Sunday before Christmas.
4th Advent Four candles are lit on the 1st Sunday before Christmas.
When all four candles are lit, Christmas Eve is very near.
During Christmas, the most important day is Christmas Eve, called Heiligabend. After waking in the morning, the four candles of the Advent Wreath are lit, and the Christmas tree is decorated for the first time on that holy night. Fir trees, called Tanne, are commonly used as Christmas trees, and it is possible to purchase one in any number of places. The lovely aroma of the needle-leaved tree fills the room, and decorating the tree with Christmas decorations with children can also be said to be one of the best parts of Christmas.
Many people go to church with their family and spend a quiet Christmas Eve together with them.
During the night, Santa Claus brings presents, or when you wake in the morning, the presents have been placed under the fir tree. The presenting of gifts in such ways is also quite wonderful.
The next two days are called First Christmas (December 25th) and Second Christmas (December 26th). Similar to New Year’s in Japan, Christmas is the most important time of the year in Germany. While Christmas Eve is spent only with family, on First and Second Christmas relatives and friends are invited to share a festive meal.
Germans primarily like to eat Gans (goose), Pute (turkey), Ente (duck), and Hirsch (deer) at Christmas. They enjoy a leisurely, charming Christmas.
The addition of snow makes it a perfect Christmas.
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