Hallo! This is the first post in my “Merry Christms from…” series as part of Blogmas 2016. Christmas is celebrated differently all across the world, and across the series I’m going to be introducing you to some wonderful people who are going to tell us about how they celebrate Christmas in their country! In this post we’re going to meet Christina of Freifahrtschein Fürs Leben (blog in German) who’s telling us about Weihnachten (Christmas) in Deutschland (Germany)!
Hello! Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about where you are from!
My name is Christina and I am from Germany. I grew up in a small village in Bavaria, close to the Austrian border. For 3 semesters I have been studying an international Master of Peace Program in Austria. That’s the reason why I live partly in Innsbruck (Austria) close to the mountains and sometimes in Leipzig, a very vibrant city in Germany. I love to travel, enjoy the ocean and mountains, read, write, dance and act.
How is Christmas traditionally celebrated in your country? Are there any strange or funny traditions?
Christmas time starts at the first Sunday in Advent (this year the 27th November). As a child, we had an advent wreath with four candles to light each Sunday. Also, the typical Christmas markets open for a few weeks and spread Christmas spirit and business at the same time.
We celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, the 24th December. When I was a child the living room door was always locked on the 24th of December because the Christkind (Christ Child) brought the gifts. We could only enter when a bell rang in the evening. I was always looking through the keyhole in the hope to see the child flying around. My father sometimes lied to me and told me that he met the Christ Child. Even now, my sister and I wait still for the sound of the ringing bell.
What is your favourite Christmas food and why?
Plätzchen and Glühwein. Plätzchen are Christmas cookies – we have thousands of different sorts and I especially enjoy baking them. My favorite ones are Vanillekipferl (vanilla crescent cookies). Glühwein (mulled wine) is a drink made with red wine, Christmas spices and oranges. I love to drink it at the Christmas market.
What would you recommend visitors to your country do during the festive season?
Visit several Christmas markets, especially the Christmas market in Leipzig which is nice (I work there as well), and in Bremen and Esslingen there are medieval Christmas markets. In Munich, I highly recommend the Tollwood-Festival with artistic events and food from all around the world.
Fifteen minutes away from my hometown, in Austria is the birth place of the poet Franz Xaver Gruber who wrote the text for Silent Night. There is a Friedensweg (peace walk) in Hochburg with sculptures and the words of the song.
Finally, what are you most looking forward to about Christmas this year?
First of all, I just love these last days of the year. I hope there will be snow! I am looking forward to listening to the wind orchestra in the castle grounds of my neighboring town before Christmas Eve begins. Later in the night, I hope that we have a bonfire in our yard.
You can visit Christina’s blog at https://freifahrtschein-fuers-leben.com/. She blogs in German about peace, life, and solo travel.
Read all my other Blogmas 2016 posts here!
All photo credits: Christina Egerter.