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Red Christmas Ornaments 2
Red Christmas Ornaments 2
Red Christmas Ornaments 2
Red Christmas Ornaments 2

 

 

During the months of December and January, many decorate their outdoor trees with white lights. Especially in the northern states of Germany, it already gets dark outdoors shortly after 4 p.m. and the lights help keep the spirits up. It is nice to go on evening walks and enjoy the scenery. When it snows, it all looks so magical as well.

Christmas in Germany 2

Christmas Markets in Germany

Dresden Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets of Dresden, Germany

Dresden Striezelmarkt Christmas Market 100

The “Striezelmarkt” Christmas Market in Dresden, Germany

Hamburg Christmas Market

The Christmas Market in Hamburg, Germany

Lübeck Christmas Market

The Lübeck Christmas Market in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Rostock Christmas Market

The Rostock Christmas Market in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany

Lüneburg Christmas Market

The Lüneburg Christmas Market in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony), Germany

Christmas Market in Eutin, Germany

The Eutin Castle Christmas Market in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Pronstorf Christmas Market

The Pronstorf Christmas Market in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Traventhal Christmas Market

The Traventhal Advent and Christmas Market in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

 

Lübeck

Lübeck is one of the most beautiful cities of Germany and is located in North Germany on the Baltic Sea. It is a beautiful setting for a Christmas market that you should not miss if you happen to be in the area in December. This market can be found on the Breite Strasse as well as at the Kohlmarkt.

Christmas Market in Lübeck, Germany
Lübeck Christmas Market

 

Niederegger Marzipan Store in Lübeck
While at the Lübeck Christmas market, it is a must to go to Niederegger. It can be found on the Breite Strasse, which is a main shopping street in the center of Lübeck. Niederegger is probably the most famous marzipan around and is an institution in Lübeck. Even if you are not a fan of marzipan, it is worth walking through this store. It is beautifully decorated and offers so many gift ideas out of marzipan and other typical German Christmas items. A café is also available there where you can enjoy a cup of hot coffee, too. If you like marzipan, you can even order a cup of marzipan coffee which has a rich and delicious flavour.

Lübeck - Niederegger Marzipan 336
Niederegger Marzipan - Lübeck

Click here to see more pictures of the Christmas Market in Lübeck

 

Hamburg

The city of Hamburg sets a perfect scenery for Christmas markets. There are several markets and you can start at the train station and end at the Alster Lake to see them.

Christmas Tree at the Hamburg Christmas Market
Hamburg Christmas Market in Front of the City Hall Building

 

The city itself is also festively decorated and provides a lovely atmosphere for Christmas cheer. The most popular Christmas market in Germany is the one located in front of the city hall building. The city hall is a gorgeous backdrop for the market and gives the whole event a historical feeling to it.

Kaufmannsgasse - Christmas Market in Hamburg
Festive Sign at the Christmas Market in Hamburg, Germany

 

Click here about the Christmas Market in Hamburg

 

Other Small Town Christmas Markets in North Germany

Small towns and villages normally have weekend markets which are quite charming. Our area of Germany is in the north in Schleswig-Holstein, which is the northernmost state of Germany and on the Danish border. A few large farms decorate their barns inside and out with their own Christmas markets. These last from 2 days up until 2 weeks. They are small yet charming and have a vintage feeling to them. Most charge a small entrance fee to cover the costs.At the small village markets and the farm markets, you will find lots of self made goodies, hand crafted items, and well selected country gifts.

The best time to go to any of these markets is at dusk. Most stay open until 6 or 7 p.m. and at that time in winter, it is already dark. The lit candles and the bonfires give the markets an added touch of warmth and comfort.

A Visit to Germany's Christmas Markets
This is an article from “Spiegel.de” (a German news magazine) in English with lots of great tips for visiting German Christmas markets. Make sure to look at the photo gallery which shows many of the different markets.

 

Christmas Decorated Street in Eutin, Germany
Christmas street in Eutin, Germany

 

 

 

Other Popular German Christmas Markets
One must see the variety of Christmas markets in Germany. Each major city has its own and they usually run for four weeks. These are quite commercialized but also have stands with handmade items as well. Glühwein or Mulled Wine is a traditional drink offered at all of the markets. This delicious spiced wine punch drink gets served hot. Perfect for a cold winter’s day when you are out doing holiday shopping and need to warm up.

 

German Christmas Carols
Many of the Christmas carols we sing in English have their origin in Germany. This is a collection of the most popular German Christmas songs in the German language as well as English language carols that have made their way to Germany and have become popular as well.

German Christmas Poetry
Here you will find a festive selection of contemporary and religious German Christmas poems.

 

German Craftsmanship - Wooden Figures
Wooden figures sold at the Christmas market in Lüneburg.

 

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Though different regions of Germany have established  their own customs throughout the centuries, most still celebrate Christmas generally the same way. On Christmas Eve in Germany, the stores generally close at 2 p.m. to give families a chance to spend more time together and to make it possible to go to afternoon church service. There are two Christmas days in Germany, meaning that the 25th and the 26th of December are both holidays and all of the stores are closed.

 

 

 

The Christmas season begins with the first advent Sunday. Traditional households have a advent wreath in the family room and the walls, doors and windows are tastefully decorated with handmade German Christmas crafts. The wreaths are decorated either modern, with trendy colored decorations, or in traditional colors with orange slices, cinnamon sticks, apple slices and pinecones. Each wreath holds four candles, representing each of the four advent Sundays before Christmas. With each new Sunday, another candle gets lit so that by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are burning. The lighting of the advent candle is a special moment in the homes with children. The family spends a quiet moment together and sing carols and some read passages out of the bible.

On the 6th of December, the German version of Santa Claus visits the children. His name is
Sankt Nikolaus. On the night of the 5th of December, the kids place their cleaned shoes outside the door. The next morning, the shoes are filled with goodies.

Assisting Sankt Nikolaus is Knecht Ruprecht. He is normally dressed in a brown robe and carrying rods in his belt to give the bad children and a basket on his back full of sacks of  tangerines, peanuts, spiced cookies and chocolate to give to the good children. Theodor Storm (1817-1888) wrote a popular poem about Knecht Ruprecht  which is learned still today by all of the children in school.

 

Light Arch for the Window
Wooden light arches often decorate the windows during the winter months. This one is a detailed example of how intricate these can be. Even the little figure is holding a smaller light bow on his arm. The attention to details is amazing. Even though there are factory made ones that are more affordable, there are still workshops in the eastern states of Germany in the area of the Erzgebirge  that still make these by hand.

 

Christmas Nutcrackers - Christmas Market in Kiel, Germany 250
Nutcrackers at the Christmas Market in Kiel
This image was made at a booth at the Christmas market in Kiel selling tradtional items such as wooden decorations and nutcrackers.

Christmas Markets in North Germany

 

Lüneburg Christmas Market and Rathaus
The gorgeous Christmas market in Lüneburg in the state of Lower Saxony.

 

Christmas Eve in Germany
Traditionally on the 24th of December, on Christmas Eve, the father of the house solely decorates the tree in the morning and the room gets closed off so that the Christkind (translated: Christ Child but is an angelic figure) can bring the gifts in the afternoon while the family is at church services. The mother of the house spends the morning decorating the home for the occasion and cooking a small dinner which is often a small meal like Bratwurst and Sauerkraut. Some choose to serve a salad or a potato salad with the meat. The potato salad varies, depending on which region of Germany you live in. The northern area of Germany serves a potato salad with a mayonaise type of dressing. In the south of Germany, a potato salad can contain vinegar and mustard. The mother also spends her time preparing for the Christmas dinner for Christmas day in advance if possible.

The kids get to see and open their gifts after the evening meal and when it is dark outdoors. This adds to the mood. The tree gets lit for the first time with real candles or with traditional white lights. The family sings Christmas carols together and reads passages from the bible.

Christmas Day is family day. The family goes to church in the morning and comes home to eat their Christmas dinner. Often friends or relatives are invited to join them. The second Christmas Day is generally like the first Christmas Day. Those who could not be invited the day before can then come on this day to celebrate with the family.

 

 

 

The German kitchen at Christmas - It starts with baking goodies for the holidays:
In German kitchens, lots and lots of goodies are being baked for the holidays! The most traditional of the baked goods is “Lebkuchen”. The taste can be compared to gingerbread but in its own unique way.

Lebkuchen

German Cookie Recipes
Here you will find some of our own recipes for traditional German cookies.

60 German Cookie Recipes
Have you ever been to Germany and walked by a traditional bakery? It is so inviting to go in and try some of the delicious goodies they have in there. Not every one can enjoy that experience but at home you can try out some of these recipes to achieve that old world taste. The page is in German and the amounts of the ingredients are metric.

Christmas Dinner Table

Traditional Christmas Dinner:
A traditional Christmas dinner consists of a baked goose with potatoes and vegetables but different regions of Germany have developed their own specialties over the years.  Christmas Dinner Table

 

Click here to see a slide show of the Traventhal Advent and Christmas Markt in Schleswig-Holstein

Gingerbread House at the Traventhal Christmas Market
Gingerbread House at the Christmas Market at Traventhal - December 2006

 

Christmas Lanterns

Christmas Gallery
For many people, this is the most favorite time of the year. There is just something special about the whole season and the joy that it brings. Christmas melodies fill the air and it is so much fun creating decorations for the home, crafting gifts for friends and family and baking delicious goodies for the holidays. These images are traditional impressions of the Christmas season in Germany including decorations, ornaments, crafts, and baked items.

 

Weihnachtsmann at the Christmas Market in Husum, Germany 250

Christmas in Germany Gallery
Germany is the place to be at Christmas time! During December, most of the major cities have Christmas markets that are open throughour the whole month. Christmas music fills the air, the aroma of mulled wine appeals to the senses and warms spirits on cold winter days and you can find one of a kind gifts for all of your friends and family. These are a must to see when in the country  ... read more

 

 

 

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