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vorweihnachtliche Sitten (Pre-Christmas Customs)


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Christmas is regionally and religiously celebrated differently!!!

die Sitte, die Sitten
Christmas custom:
die Weihnachtssitte, die Weihnachtssitten
der Gebrauch, die Gebräuche
Christmas tradition:
der Weihnachtsgebrauch, die Weihnachtsgebräuche

Wie feiert man in der Weihnachtszeit in Deutschland? (How does one celebrate Christmas in Germany?)

  • Background: Holiday Treats: Christmas, Traditions, and Trinkets
    How Germany invented Christmas as we know it
    • die Geschichte von Weihnachten (history of Christmas)
      1. Custom of celebrating Christmas was introduced by Karl der Große (Charlemagne) in Franconia
        • He was crowned by the Pope on Christmas day in the year 800.
        • At the time of Charlemagne, the church year had established most of the Christmas holidays already: Advent, December 6, New Years, and Epiphany.
      2. The name Christmas goes back to urgermanische times
        • Heathen festival in northern Europe (Scandinavia) was called Jul.
        • In Holland, it was called Kerstmis.
        • The name designates 12 holy nights, also 12 holy nights of the winter solstice.
        • Religious customs became connected to the winter solstice.
        • When Christianity came to Germanic tribes, the church had already been celebrating birth of Christ on December 25 for a long time.
        • Since this day fell in the 12 holy nights, the Germanic tribes simply took the name of the Old Festnächte with the Scandinavians, and the name stayed Jul.
    • German Christmas customs coming to America:
      1. der Weihnachtsbaum, die Weihnachtsbäume (Christmas tree)
      2. der Weihnachtsmarkt, die Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets)
      3. der Weihnachtsschmuck, die Schmucke (Christmas decorations)
      4. die Kerze, die Kerzen (candles)
      5. der Adventskranz, die Adventskränze (Advent wreath)
      6. der Adventskalender, die Adventskalender (Advent calendar)
      7. das Weihnachtslied, die Weihnachtslieder (Chrismas songs)
      8. der Sankt Nikolaus (Santa Nicholas)
      9. die Zuckerstange, die Zuckerstangen (candy canes)
  • Weihnachtssitten und Weihnachtsbrauche (customs and traditions)
  • Christmas Trends
    • Christmas in the other regions and German-speaking countries:
      1. Weihnachten im Bayern (Bavaria)
      2. Weihnachten im Österreich (Austria)
      3. Weihnachten in der Schweiz (Switzerland)
    • Weihnachtsferien (Depending on the province in Germany, students have between one and three weeks vacation from school.)
    • 6 Ways Germany cashes in at Christmas
    • 5 ways Germans think Christmas has gotten worse
    • What makes German Christmas customs different American customs?