Heiligabend

Heiligabend is 24th December, known in English as Christmas Eve. On this day most businesses and shops close around lunchtime and people start to prepare for the evening. Many families still decorate their Christmas trees in the afternoon. Traditionally the children are not allowed in the room when this happens. Then the Christkind comes before the children return and … [Read more...]

Christkind

The Christkind is a figure in Germany that brings presents to the children on Christmas Eve, especially in southern parts of the country. Until the reformation in the 16th century people in Germany did not give each other presents at Christmas, instead the children received their presents from St.Nicholas (Nikolaus) on 6th December. Martin Luther, however, opposed the … [Read more...]

Der Weihnachtsmann

The Weihnachtsmann has an unusual roll to play in German Christmas celebrations. In some parts of Germany, mainly in the North, he is said to bring the presents to the children on Christmas Eve. In much of Germany and especially in the South this is the job of the Christkind. The confusion seems to have come about because of the different way that the protestant and … [Read more...]

Lametta

Lametta is a Christmas decoration found in German homes and in particular on Christmas trees. Similar to tinsel, it is hung over the branches to simulate icicles. Originally it was made from a substance called "Stanniol", which is Tin (Sn) flattened to make it into a foil. To add weight to the Lametta, lead or even silver were added. Often this meant that it was used on … [Read more...]

Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen is a type of cake associated with Christmas. It is baked using honey and a number of spices and is known throughout Germany by a variety of names such as Pfefferkuchen and Magenbrot. There are filled and unfilled versions, some covered in chocolate. It tastes similar to gingerbread. … [Read more...]

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