Germany’s Christmas Traditions: From Advent Calendars to St. Nicholas Day

Germany’s Christmas Traditions: From Advent Calendars to St. Nicholas Day


Christmas in Germany is a magical time filled with age-old traditions that have been celebrated for generations. From Advent calendars to St. Nicholas Day, the holiday season in Germany is steeped in rich customs and rituals. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of these beloved traditions and how they are celebrated across the country.

Advent Calendars

One of the most popular Christmas traditions in Germany is the Advent calendar. This special calendar counts down the days from December 1st until Christmas Eve, revealing a small treat or gift behind each door. Originally, Advent calendars were simple homemade creations, but today, they come in various forms – from chocolate-filled calendars to ones with tiny toys or even beauty products.

FAQs about Advent Calendars

Q: When did Advent calendars first appear in Germany?

A: Advent calendars first appeared in Germany in the early 20th century, with the first printed versions becoming popular in the 1950s.

Q: What is the significance behind Advent calendars?

A: Advent calendars are a way to visually mark the passage of time leading up to Christmas. Each opened door signifies a step closer to the arrival of Christmas Day.

St. Nicholas Day

On December 6th, Germans celebrate St. Nicholas Day, also known as Nikolaustag. This day is dedicated to St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children. Children leave their shoes outside their bedroom doors the night before, hoping that St. Nicholas will fill them with small gifts, chocolates, or other treats. It’s a delightful way to kick off the Christmas season for kids.

FAQs about St. Nicholas Day

Q: Is St. Nicholas Day a public holiday in Germany?

A: No, St. Nicholas Day is not a public holiday in Germany. However, it is widely celebrated, especially among families with children.

Q: Who was St. Nicholas?

A: St. Nicholas was a Christian bishop who lived in what is now modern-day Turkey during the 4th century. He was known for his generosity and love for children.


Germany’s Christmas traditions, such as Advent calendars and St. Nicholas Day, add a unique charm to the holiday season. These customs not only bring joy to children but also evoke a sense of warmth and togetherness for families and communities. Whether it’s counting down the days with an Advent calendar or waking up to find goodies in their shoes on St. Nicholas Day, Germans truly know how to make Christmas magical.

So, this year, why not incorporate some of these wonderful German Christmas traditions into your own celebrations? You might just create new memories and traditions that will be cherished for years to come.

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