In Germany, the three Thursdays before Christmas were
traditionally known as Knocking Nights. What did children do
on those nights? Answer
On a Knocking night or Klopfelanchten (another name for the night), children
wearing masks go to house to house banging lids and clanging
cowbells in their neighborhood.
It is similar to our Halloween, because the children dress
up in frightening masks and receive sweets, coins and fruit.
The children have to recite a rhyme at the door before they
are given anything.
Frohe Weihnachten und alles Gute im Neuen Jahr
'Frohliche Weihnachten' is Merry Christmas in German.
Germany is famous for its Christmas Markets. Early in
December, the oldest and most famous market, Nuremberg's
Christkindlesmarkt (Christ Child Market) is opened. The
stalls have red and white striped roofs and sell Christmas
decoration, food, toys, and presents.
Set on the branches of the wreath are four candles: three purple candles and one pink candle. In the center of the wreath sits a white candle. As a whole, these candles represent the coming of the light of Christ into the world.
On the first Sunday of Advent, the first purple candle is lit. This candle is typically called the "Prophecy Candle" in remembrance of the prophets, primarily Isaiah, who foretold the birth of Christ. This candle represents hope or expectation in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
Each week on Sunday, an additional candle is lit. On the second Sunday of Advent, the second purple candle is lit. This candle typically represents love. Some traditions call this the "Bethlehem Candle," symbolizing Christ's manger.
On the third Sunday of Advent the pink, or rose-colored candle is lit. This pink candle is customarily called the "Shepherds Candle" and it represents joy.
The fourth and last purple candle, oftentimes called the "Angels Candle," represents peace and is lit on the fourth Sunday of Advent.
On Christmas Eve, the white center candle is traditionally lit. This candle is called the "Christ Candle" and represents the life of Christ that has come into the world. The color white represents purity. Christ is the sinless, spotless, pure Savior. Also, those who receive Christ as Savior are washed of their sins and made whiter than snow.
Celebrating with an Advent wreath during the weeks prior to Christmas is a great way forChristian families to keep Christ at the center of Christmas, and for parents to teach their children the true meaning of Christmas.
December 6 is Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas' Day. Before
going to bed the evening before, children put their –
freshly polished – shoes by the door or on the windowsill
for St. Nicholas to fill with presents. Sometimes he comes
to visit in person, wearing a long robe and carrying a tall,
curved staff. If they have been good, the children receive
sweets or chocolate. If they have been bad they receive
slaps from St Nicholas companion, called “Knecht Ruprecht”
The traditional German Christmas decorations are prune men
or prune women ( Quetschenmännchen ) and straw stars.
The Prune people are about 25cm tall. Their arms and legs
are made out of prunes and their bodies are made of dried
figs. Walnuts are used for the heads and faces are painted
on. Clothes are made for the prune people too. The Germans
say "You will never be without gold and happiness, if you
have a prune person in your house."
December 21st, in Germany is known as St. Thomas Day. In
some areas of Germany, whoever wakes up late or arrives late
to work on that day is issued the title "Thomas Donkey."
They are given a cardboard donkey and people make jokes
Children in Germany write letters to the Christ Child, like
we write letters to Father Christmas. They send the letters
either by post or leave them on the windowsill for the Child
Christ to collect.
Children open their Christmas presents on Heiligabend
(Christmas Eve). On that day, while the children wait in
another room, Father Christmas or the Christ Child (Christkind),
as he is known in southern Germany, leaves presents under
the Christmas tree (Tannenbaum) and lights the candles on
it, ringing a bell to announce the arrival of Christmas.
Everyone gathers to open presents, play music and sing
For their Christmas Dinner, Germans eat Christmas goose (Weihnachtsgans)
with potato balls (dumplings) and red cabbage.
My vote is to have Christmas traditions all year round. You see at
Christmas time most people at least the ones I have met, always change just a
little for the better around Christmas. I do not know whether or not it is the
great yuletide Christmas carols, the festive atmosphere everywhere you go, or just some
hidden part in all of us that screams out, (I BELIEVE IN MORE THAN WHAT I SEE AROUND ME.) You see, somewhere deep down inside we all
believe in something better than we now have or see, and most of
us feel a lot better when we help someone. Whether the person is
in need or not, this feeling is what I call the feeling of
Christmas, and we all should strive to feel this way all year long.
The feeling of the Christmas holidays is truly all about family, friends and celebrating all things good.
The Lord's birthday is swiftly coming
Christmas carols we're merrily humming,
Adoration and harmony spreads worldwide
As we eagerly await the happy Yuletide.
Enhance your Christmas, with Christmas poems
and stories highlighted with your favorite Christmas carols.
Christmas traditions are fast becoming a family way of life.
Poems are a simple way of inspiring others to join in on the Christmas
traditions that love and poems bring to this Christmas holiday.