Here we go! Einen freulichen ersten Advent – Happy first Advent Sunday! Hallo-Servus and welcome back to my Youtube channel. My Name is Felicia, I’m originally from Munich Germany, but I have been living in Cincinnati, Ohio for about three Years now. So Christmas is around the Corner as you can see; I already brought out the Christmas-tree, I’m wearing Winter-sweaters, I have my little Christmas Santa Friend here, and, even though Christmas is celebrated in both Germany and the United States, there are a lot of Differences regarding how its celebrated: Here in the U.S, from what I know, Santa Claus brings the Presents on Christmas Day so on December 25th, and he enters the House through the Chimney and therefore most Families have Stockings hung up on their Fireplace for smaller Presents and Candy. A lot of Americans set up their Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving so at the End of November or even earlier than that the Decorations at the Stores actually started way earlier. I’ve actually seen some in October this Year, which I was a little shocked about, because it wasn’t even Halloween at the Time, but a lot of Americans have fake Trees. That’s something that I noticed that isn’t really a Thing in Germany. It seems practical, because you don’t have to buy a new Tree every Year and a lot of People actually even leave the Decorations on the Tree too, but I didn’t grow up here, so if you’re American, feel free to share in the Comments how your Family celebrates Christmas and I’ll tell you in this video how my Family and other Germans celebrate and what kind of Christmas traditions we have. The first Thing that is a pretty big Part of our Christmas tradition is Advent which I think isn’t really a Thing here but we actually use this Term for the whole Time leading up to Christmas. We call it Adventszeit which means Advent time. Today is the first Advent Sunday, which means that, in Germany, most People light up the first Candle on their Advent wreath today, so that’s what I’ll do. This is one that I bought at the Store here. I usually have one with like wider Candles in Germany, they didn’t have that here. This is a fake one that I bought in the U.S. So usually the ones that my Family has are a lot nicer but the main Thing is that they have to have four Candles on them; These Candles aren’t the best either but… Here we go Happy first Advent Sunday and in Germany, too you can either buy the Wreath at the Store like this with the Decorations that the Candles on it or a lot of Families also make it themselves at home out of real Branches and then they decorate it. My Family usually buys a made Wreath at the Store but a real one with real Branches, and then we decorate it all together and put the Candles on top, and then the 4 Sunday’s leading up to Christmas are the 4 Advent Sundays so each Week, you light up another Candle, until all four Candles are burning the Sunday before Christmas and Kids usually also sing Advent songs in School. I remember I did that growing up, we did that every Week on the Fridays I think in elementary School, we all gathered in the big Lobby and sang those Songs and lit up the Candle together and Churches do that, too. Another big part of Advent are Advent calendars and it’s a big Coincidence this Year, that actually December 1st and the first Advent Sunday fall on the same Day, because Advent calendars start on December 1st. So I get to open my first Door, for, if you’ve never seen an Advent calendar, this is just an Example. They usually have 24 little “Doors,” if you will, and you got to open one each Day from December 1st through December 24th. A lot of them have Chocolate in them, like this one does, for Example, but People also make them themselves a lot for their Kids or their Friends. So then the 24 “Doors” are actually 24 little Sacks, and there is a Present in each Sack, or even had one growing up where there were 24 little Books, and each Book told a part of the Christmas story. Of course, another big part of Advent time is Christmas-themed Food: A lot of people bake Christmas cookies at home (we call them Plätzchen), then we also eat a lot of Lebkuchen during that time, Gingerbread like this or these are like the typical Shape and there is a Thing called Weihnachstolen, which looks like this actually found this in the U.S. People have told me that it’s kind of like Fruitcake or Fruitbread in the U.S, I don’t know if that’s true, because I haven’t tried Fruitcake, but Stollen is very very good in my opinion, it has a lot of Sugar and Butter in it. A lot of them have Raisins and it’s covered in a lot of powdered Sugar. On December 6th, its St. Nikolaus day which isn’t an official Holiday in Germany, but it is celebrated by most Families with Kids. St. Nikolaus was a christian Bishop who lived in the 4th Century in ancient Greece. He is part of the Christmas tradition in a lot of european Countries, but the Legend has developed differently in different Regions over Time. The American Santa Claus is actually based on him too, because dutch Immigrants brought their Traditions and Legends of Sinterklaas with them when they established the Colony of New Amsterdam, and that then turned into Santa Claus. In Germany, he is sometimes portrayed looking like a Bishop, but then sometimes he looks just like Santa Claus with the red-and-white Outfit and the typical Santa hat. On the night of December 5th, Kids put a Shoe or a Boot in front of the Door and then Nikolaus traditionally fills it with Nuts, Tangerines, Gingerbread, Candy, and nowadays some Kids also get a Toy or some other Present. Some families also have an actual Nikolas actor come to their House, and there are a lot of public Events with someone dressed up as Santa Claus. In most cases, St. Nikolaas won’t come alone, but he’ll have a Companion that is responsible for punishing the Kids that didn’t behave well. In Germany, depending on the Region, that Companion is either called Knecht Ruprecht or Krampus. He’s sometimes portrayed as just a Man in a black or brown Frock with a Switch, but then in other Cases, he’s portrayed as more a monster-like Creature with Fur and Horns and Hooves, and sometimes he also has a Sack, in which he threatens to put the kids that didn’t behave well. In southern Germany and some other Countries, we actually have Events during that time, which are called Krampus’ run. for which People dress up as those monster-like Creatures as Krampus. So they’re trying to look very scary and then chase the Pedestrians through the City. Usually, St Nikolaus is more something for the Kids but those Krampus runs are obviously something for Adults and then also some Adults give each other these St. Nikolous-shaped Chocolate figures. And talking about adults: Another major part of Christmastime in Germany are definitely the Christmas markets; We call them Weihnachtsmarkt or Kristkindelmarkt. They take place outside and usually go on for a few Weeks every single Day, and there are a lot of Booths with Christmas decorations and other Goods that you can buy, and then most importantly there is Food and Glühwein. Glühwein is hot red Wine with Spices in it, that not only heats you up from the Inside but also puts you in the right Christmas mood. Mulled Wine is the english Expression for it and you can also get it with a shot of Rum, usually. You can also get white Glühwein and a lot of other Variations nowadays. Typical Foods are like Bratwurst and Bread, roasted Almonds, Crepes and all other kinds of Foods that are hot and warm you up in the Winter. In Munich alone, there are over 35 of those Christmas markets. So there are small ones, big ones, traditional ones, modern ones, themed ones even. So it’s a very common thing to just go to a Christmas market after Work or on the Weekend with your Friends and Family. Now when it comes to Christmas itself, Germans mainly celebrate Christmas Eve, so December 24th. Most stores on that Day close around 2:00 p.m so that everyone can be with their Families afterwards and then December 25th and 26th are both national Holidays. Every Family has different Traditions, of course, but in my Family we don’t set out the Christmas tree until the Morning of Christmas Eve and we have a real Tree with real Candles. I know that a lot of other Families in Germany will have fake Candles or fake Lights, but fake Trees are definitely not very common. Most German Christmas trees will be decorated with all Kinds of different Ornaments, Christmas bulbs, and Straw-stars are very common, but a thing that is not common at all is the Christmas pickle. A lot of Americans think that it’s a german Tradition to hide a Pickle ornament in the Christmas tree and then the first Child who finds it gets an extra Present. I told you guys in my previous Video that I would do some Research on this and where this Legend came from, but it seems like nobody really knows there are a lot of different stories out there; One of them is actually linked to St. Nikolaus and then another one is about a Fighter in the Civil War, who was born in Bavaria, and then, on Christmas Eve, he was a Prisoner and he was starving and he asked the Guard for a Pickle and then the Pickle helped him to keep living. I also read, that, in the 1890s, the Story was developed for marketing Purposes because german Stores started importing Glass Christmas ornaments. So it’s possible that this used to be a german Tradition but a local one that then died out over time or it was entirely made up in the U.S. Either way, the Fact is, most Germans nowadays have never heard of this before so our Christmas tree usually just looks like this, no Christmas pickle, but what I do remember growing up is that we used to have a wooden nativity Scene also set up next to the Christmas tree. A lot of people celebrate Christmas Eve just with their close Family so just Parents and Kids. We usually celebrate with the entire Family in the Munich area so we’re usually about 15 People on Christmas eve. Traditional Christmas food varies from Region-to-Region. A lot of people will have Bratwurst or other Sausages with Sauerkraut or Potato salad then the traditional Christmas goose is very popular. It’s usually served with Dumplings and red Cabbage. Fish is an option too, but in my Family, we usually eat Fondue and Raclette. Both of these Dishes are originally from Switzerland. Fondue is this thing where you have a Pot on the Table with Broth in it, and then you have a lot of different Ingredients, like Meats and Veggies and Shrimp, etc, and then you can cook those Things on your little Fork in the Pot. Raclette looks kind of similar actually, it looks like this, People have their own little Pan and then they put Potatoes and other Ingredients in there, and then gratinéed it with the signature Raclette cheese. There’s also usually a lot of Sides and Sauces, and Fondue and Raclette are also Dishes that a lot of Germans eat for New Year’s Eve. In Germany, also, the Presents are exchanged on Christmas Eve. So in my Family before we eat Dinner the Kids have to go to a separate Room and wait there until the Presents have arrived. Since I’m from the South of Germany, it’s the Kristkind that brings the Presents for us, the Christ-child. In other parts of Germany, mostly the Middle and the North, It’s the Weinachtsmann (Christmas man), which is more or less identical to Santa Claus. So in those parts of Germany, a lot of Families have someone dressed up as Santa Claus and bring the Presents the Kristkind, on the other Hand, is never seen by the Children, only the Grown-ups are allowed to see him. The Kristkind of hard to describe, it’s technically supposed to be baby Jesus but it’s usually portrayed more as an Angel with a white Dress, Wings and an Angel Halo or a Crown and, in real life, it’s usually played by Girls. In my family, once the Kristkind has dropped off the Presents, It’ll ring a Bell, which for the Kids in the other Room means that they can come out now into the Living-room, and, when they do, the Lights will be dimmed the Candles on the Tree are lighted, and then we all have a Champagne toast first, and then we sing Christmas songs, before the Presents can be open so we usually sing German songs like… Kling Glöckchen klinge-linge-ling, Ihr Kinderlein kommet Alle Jahre Wieder, O’Tannenbaum. [Christmas song in German] or a Bavarian song like ‘Es werd scho glei dumpa’ [Bavarian song] …and then finally we blow out the Candles, we turn the Lights on, and then everyone can open their Presents, and then after that is when we sit down for our Dinner, we celebrate usually into about 1 a.m, and then December 25th and 26th is when a lot of People celebrate with their larger Families like with their Grandparents aunts uncles, etc. After that, the Christmas time traditionally goes on until January 6th, which is the Holiday of three Kings. So on that Day, my Family and I know a lot of other People do it to take down their Christmas tree and put away all the Christmas decorations and that’s officially the End of the Christmas season in Germany. I hope I could give you guys some Insights into what Christmas looks like in Germany. I’ll actually be traveling home to Munich in two Weeks to celebrate with my Family. So if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see some more Impressions about Christmas and Germany in my Stories. Thank you guys so much for watching! As always, feel free to share your personal Experiences or Opinions in the Comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Channel for free, and I wish you all a very happy Advent time, Merry Christmas, and I hope I’ll see you next Time. [In German] Bye!