Weihnachten is the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland's celebration of what is widely known as Christmas Eve. It begins on the evening of December 24 with opening presents and eating leftovers from the holiday meal. A big family dinner is always included, but since Weihnachten is a Christian festival, most Germans also go to church next morning.
During Weihnachten, it starts snowing in some parts of Europe (especially Germany). This is because Christians believe that Jesus was born during the winter, so Christmas is first of all a holiday about giving joy to people's hearts. Snowflakes are thought to be his tears when God took away his mother Mary's virginity.
Furthermore, Germans light up their Christmas trees every year from mid-November through early December. The tradition dates back to the 19th century when electric lights were first introduced into Germany. Before then, people used candles on their trees.
Do Germans have a word for holiday spirit? Yes! Das Weihnachtsgefühl is the right term for this feeling of happiness and cheerfulness that everyone gets around Christmas time. It can also be called Christmastrieb or simply Christmassy!
On Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve is the most important day for Germans to exchange gifts with their relatives. "Frohe Weihnachten" means "Merry Christmas" in German. On Christmas Day, people go to church and then have a family meal together.
Christmas has become such an integral part of German culture that even though Christmastime isn't celebrated as widely in other countries of Europe, Christmas markets have sprung up all over Germany during the holidays. These markets feature traditional German food like sausages, schnitzel, and noodles along with unique dishes specific to each region. There are also live music performances and candle-lit decorations everywhere you look.
In Germany, Christmas markets first came about in the 16th century when local rulers would open their towns to the public to celebrate religious occasions. As they did not have enough money to fund large celebrations, they would instead provide bread, meat, cakes, and wine for free. This tradition continued after Christianity became the official state religion in the country until 1848 when it was banned by the government because they believed it was too commercial.
After World War II, when West Germany wanted to return to a Christian holiday season, they created a new celebration called Christkindlmarkt. This market features light displays, food, and merchandise related to the Christmas story.
In Germany, it is traditional to give gifts on Christmas Day. The type of gift depends on what you want to express to whom. Sometimes people give flowers, others cook a special meal for their friends and family members. In fact, there are so many ways to show someone that you care about them.
Do Germans like Christmas? Yes, but only if it isn't forced on them. Most children enjoy the holidays when they can eat cookies and drink milk during class time. Adults like going to church on Christmas Day. It's a chance to thank God for all he has done for us over the year.
Does Germany celebrate New Year's Eve? While some cities may have parties, this is not common practice throughout Germany.
Does Germany have Thanksgiving? Like most countries, the United States invented Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1789. But unlike the United States, Germany doesn't have any official holiday where everyone gets together with their families to give thanks for their blessings.
Weihnachtsmarkt Advent is traditionally heralded in many German, Swiss, and Austrian cities by the opening of the Christmas market, or "Weihnachtsmarkt." In southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, it is known as a "Christkind(e)l(s)markt" (German language, meaning "Christ kid market").
The term "Weihnachtsmarkt" comes from the Middle High German word "wisnechte," which means "weekend." It was originally used to describe any market that was held outside normal trading hours on weekends. Over time, it came to refer specifically to a market that opened and closed at Christmastime and that sold products specific to the season.
Today, Christmas markets are held throughout Germany and Europe during the holiday season. Some cities have their markets each year, while others only have them once every few years. But no matter when they are held, people travel to these markets to shop for gifts, eat traditional German cookies, and enjoy performances by local musicians and dancers.
In addition to selling gifts, food, and crafts, many Christmas markets have a church component. Visitors can listen to sermons preached by local priests or bishops about Jesus' birth and life after death. They may also see religious displays such as nativity scenes or angels.
Christmas markets first appeared in Germany in the 16th century when Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I sponsored festivals in his new towns across the country.
As you can see, Christmas is a holiday that is very dear to the hearts of the majority of Germans, as seen by the vast diversity of Christmas cards. You might be wondering why Frohliche Weihnachten and Frohe Weihnachten both mean "Merry Christmas," so let's clear that up right now. "Froh" means happy or merry in german, and "Weihnachten" means Christmas.
The term "Frohe Weihnachten" was first used in West Germany during the 1950s. Previously, Germans had only used "Weihnachten" when speaking of Christmas. The introduction of "Frohe Weihnachten" was part of a movement called "Vergiliusverein" (or "Veritas Verein") that aimed to make christmas more popular among Germans. This movement started after World War II when most Germans were too poor to afford gifts for their families. They believed that introducing christmas into daily life would make it more acceptable and important again.
Even though "Frohe Weihnachten" has become common, Germans still use "Weihnachten" when they want to express their gratitude towards others.