Germany

Christmas Eve

Germans celebrate Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) on December 24. Many spend the afternoon or early evening going to church, decorating the Christmas tree, or preparing a special Christmas Eve Dinner. Gifts are opened that evening, unlike in the US, where gifts are opened on Christmas morning. Unless the 24th falls on […]

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Advent

Advent is celebrated in German speaking Countries as in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The Advent (derived from the Latin word “arrival”) of the Christkind (Christ child) is celebrated in this special time before Christmas. The Advent season starts with the first of Advent which is four Sundays before Christmas Eve. […]

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Karneval – Fasching

Karneval or Fasching is the season of eating, drinking and merriment before the fasting season, or Lent. Often called the “Fifth Season,” Karneval in Cologne begins exactly at 11:11 a.m. on 11-11. While no public activities go on during Advent and Christmas, the costume parties, parades, masked balls, and satiric speeches […]

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Martinstag, Laternenumzug and Martinsgans

On November 11, Martinstag is celebrated in Germany with many traditions.  Martin of Tours was the third Bishop of Tours in France during the 4th century AD/CE. There are many legends woven around his person.  For instance, when he still was a Roman soldier, he cut his cloak into halves […]

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Allerheiligen, Allerseelen

The first two days in November are significant days in the German Christian calendar. November 1 is the German Holiday Allerheiligen (All Saints’ Day) and November 2 is Allerseelen (All Souls’ Day). On Allerheiligen, people traditionally visit cemeteries and place flowers, wreaths, and lighted candles on the graves of loved […]

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German-American Day

On October 6, we in the US celebrate National German-American Day! In 1683 the first thirteen German families settled in Pennsylvania where they founded Germantown. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6 as a National Holiday in 1983 to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German immigration and culture in […]

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