Germany's Festive Advent Traditions Logo
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Christmas market, young couple in front of a christmas tree
Christmas market © istock/Aleksandar Nakic
Snowflakes dance through the air, it smells of mulled wine and freshly baked cookies, golden lights sparkle on the fir trees: It's Christmas time. For many, December is the most romantic month in Germany. People sing and celebrate, bake and craft decorations. Numerous customs and traditions passed down from generation to generation are still alive today and create a unique atmosphere full of joy.

Best regards,
Your GNTB team
Advent calendar on the wall
Advent calendar © gettyimages/Nils Hendrik Mueller
24 windows up until Christmas Eve
Especially for children who are eagerly awaiting Christmas and their presents, the month of December can seem endless. To sweeten the wait, an advent calendar with 24 small surprises, one for every day until Santa or the Christkind finally arrives, hangs in almost every house in Germany.
Check out the festive season in Hesse!
Fun in the snow
Everyone is waiting for the first snowflakes of winter to fall from the sky. When the time comes, there is no stopping the fun. Young and old rush outside to throw snowballs and build snowmen with beet or carrot noses.
Discover winter fun in Bavaria!
Happy Family Sledding On Snow Covered Field
Sledding on snow covered field
© gettyimages/Robert Kneschke/EyeEm
girl looking out the window on Christmas
Girl looking out the window on Christmas
© gettyimages/CLM Images
St. Nicholas
On December 5, children are on their best behavior. They clean their shoes or boots and put them outside in the evening before they go to sleep. This can be worthwhile because at night, St. Nicholas comes with his sack full of goodies and fills the shoes of the good children with candy.
Plan a family vacation in Lower Saxony!
Stollen, cookies, goose roasts
Oh, how delicious! You hear this being said often in December. The Advent season offers plenty of culinary surprises. There are cookies, baked Christmas stollen, and goose roasts pushed into the oven during the festive season.
Try culinary specialties from Aachen!
baking christmas cookies
Christmas cookies © Fotolia/M.Studio
Girl hangs ornaments on the Christmas tree
Girl hangs ornaments on the Christmas tree © gettyimages/FatCamera
Christmas trees with glitter
The traditional German Christmas tree looks especially festive with its ornaments and flickering candles. Even today, almost everywhere in Germany, real fir trees come directly from the forest into the living rooms. Some families even go out into nature to choose their own tree.
Find more Christmas ideas in Berlin!
Christkind or Santa Clause?
In some families in Germany, Santa Claus brings the gifts, in others, it’s the Christkind. Either way, the children are happy as long as the gifts lay under the tree on Christmas Eve. Later in the night, a lot of families go to church for the Christmas service or mass.
Learn more about Germany's Christkind!
Christmas tree with presents
Christmas tree with presents © AdobeStock/VK Studio
Discover Germany from Home key visual
Discover Germany from Home
© DZT/Francesco Carovillano
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picture database
© Getty Images / instamatics
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German National Tourist Office
Amrei Gold
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This newsletter is a product of the Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus e.V. (DZT) / German National Tourist Board (GNTB), Beethovenstraße 69, 60325 Frankfurt/Main, Tel. +49 (0)69 974640, Fax +49 (0)69 751903,
The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) is represented by its Executive Directors Petra Hedorfer and Reinhard Werner. The GNTB is entered in the register of associations of the Frankfurt am Main Local Court, registration no. 5190. VAT Registration No.: DE 114 234 956
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