Christmas Traditions in Germany

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This presentation is part of the eTwinning project CHRISTMAS IS COMING

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traditions around christmas in Germany

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Advent From Latin adventus = "coming" the period of expectant waiting/preparation for celebration of the Nativity of Jesus Advent starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25 th Time for families to come together and join each other special songs: “Wir sagen euch an den lieben Advent” (e.g.)

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Advent wreath evergreen wreath with four candles eat Christmas biscuits Sing Christmas-carols read stories… 1 st Sunday of Advent:1 st candle is lightened 2 nd Sunday of Advent: 2 nd candle is lightened 3 rd Sunday of Advent:3 rd candle is lightened 4 th Sunday of Advent: 4 th candle is lightened Some families on Sunday afternoon

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Advent Calendar counting the days of Advent (1 st to 24 st december) -> holy night 24 "windows“, often made for children each window opens to reveal an image or a small gift/chocolate first known Advent calendar was handmade in 1851 many fill themselves, some buy in shops

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Christmas Market also known as Christkindlmarkt, Christkindlesmarkt, Christkindlmarket, Weihnachtsmarkt a street market associated with the celebration of Christmas; during advent, mainly the four weeks preceding Christmas Day Shop Streets are lightened by fairy lights

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Food Specialities during Advent/Christmas Many different sweet food belongs to Advent Stollen, Printen, Marzipan, Spekulatius, Lebkuchen, Lebkuchen-House various special decorative Christmas biscuits are made by families, everybody helps biscuits are offered during the Advent gathering Special song: “In der Weihnachtsbäckerei” Listen to the Chorus

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Nikolaus - Santa Claus Nikolaus von Myra (280 /286 a.d. – 351 a.d.) was a bishop in Myra (today Demre in Turkey) The patron of children and sailors In the night to the 6 th of december Nikolaus is coming Children put boots in front of the door and Nikolaus brings some sweets, sometimes little toys Coming with a slide joined by Knecht Ruprecht Nikolaus and Knecht Ruprecht visit some families Good children get presents – bad are told off Special songs: f.e. „Lasst uns froh und munter sein“

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Families send Christmas-cards with best wishes for Christmas and the new year Christmas list Children write Christmas-list with wishes Some put the list on a window sill – the christkind fetches it Some send the list to the Christkind Christkind answers all letters written to him Christmas cards

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Christmas Tree and crib Christmas trees can be bought at special traders' sites, some Germans go into the forest and get one themselves. (some days before – for money) Christmas Tree usually put up in the morning of the 24 th Most families have a crib and place it near the Christmas tree

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Heiligabend – Holy night - 24 th decembre in the afternoon most families with children go to church meanwhile an adult decorates the tree, places present under and lightens the candles homecoming children wait until a little bell rings some have to sing a song or tell a poem … now they are allowed to go in and open the wrapped presents Children are told, that Christkind/Weihnachtsmann brings the presents Special song f.e.: “Oh du fröhliche”, “Oh Tannenbaum” “Macht hoch die Tür”

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Christmas Days (25 th and 26 th decembre) Families meet grandparents, aunts, uncles … share more presents Have a big Christmas meal at lunch time Very often goose, lamb, with red cabbage, Spätzle, Knödel All time a plate with Christmas biscuits, marzipan, nuts, mandarin, oranges and apples is offered Some go in church again Many have a family-promenade in the aftrenoon

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Heiligen drei Könige - Epiphany Day - 6 th January, The Three Kings let by a star come to the crip in Bethlehem bringing gifts for baby Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh Children are send out by church costumed as the Three Kings go from house to house, sing songs collect money for Adveniat - an organization helping children all over the world special songs f.e.: “Stern über Bethlehem”

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Many children visiting our school come from other countries . Some have another religion . They brought their customs with ! Russian Children get their presents on december 31st In Italy Befana the Christmas witch is bringing the presents on february 6th Many turkish children are Muslims or Alevi , they don‘t celebrate Christmas like we do. New Year is a very important date to meet families and celebrate .

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We wish you „Fröhliche Weihnachten u nd e in gutes Neues Jahr“ Children , Teachers and Parents From St. Marien-Schule In Moers / Germany

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