Buß- und Bettag

Buß- und Bettag is a day celebrated in the Evangelical Church. It is a day on which to change one's direction and to turn to God as the Church year comes to an end and we move towards Advent. It was previously a national holiday, but this was changed from 1995 onwards to finance the new Pflegeversicherung. It remains a holiday in Saxony. Many families start their … [Read more...]

Heilige Drei Könige

Heilige Drei Könige is celebrated on 6th January. In some areas of Germany it is a public holiday. The day celebrates the arrive of the three wise men from the east in Bethlehem. In the Evangelical Church it is known as Epihanias – similar to the English name of the day in some countries “Epiphany”. On this day, groups of children known as Sternsinger go from door to door … [Read more...]

Weihnachten

The 25th and 26th of December are celebrated in Germany as 1. Weihnachtsfeiertag and 2. Weihnachtsfeiertag. These days are public holidays, a tradition that dates back to Martin Luther. Unlike many English-speaking countries, presents are not exchanged on these days, as this happens on Heiligabend. Instead, many families come together on these days and eat together. For … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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