Hi Folks! Happy Saturday!
I’ve put together this short list of articles about what makes a German Christmas: the traditions, the history and the unraveling of the many names of Saint Nick…
I Am Expat has this fascinating article on 8 Christmas traditions that have roots in Germany, with detailed historical explanations: https://www.iamexpat.de/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/8-christmas-traditions-you-didnt-realise-were-german
The Culture Trip has this list of 15 Christmas traditions “only Germans will understand.” But we will have to forgo the Christmas Markets this year, sadly….
December 6th is St. Nikolaus Day: Your children need to clean their boots or shoes the night before and leave them outside. St Nikolaus is meant to deliver a treat (a small toy or chocolate) and leave it in the shoe!
Beware! This is also the day of Nikolaus “Companions” in which the creepy version also appears like the well-known Krampus or Austria, also known as the Aschenmann or Knecht Ruprecht and other names in Germany depending on the region: He will chase and scare and threaten to “whip” the bad children!
The German Way has a very detailed explanation of who, indeed is Saint Nikolaus including his creepy companions: https://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/holidays-and-celebrations/christmas/saint-nicholas/
This article from Thought Co. tries to clarify all the different names there are in Germany for Santa Claus https://www.thoughtco.com/the-many-german-st-nicks-4071165
Please send us a message if you know of any other holiday traditions particular to Germany or if you have any links to cool articles to explain it all.