As in Holland, Christmas in Germany begins as early as December 6th, St. Nicholas Day, when children leave their shoes outside the front door in hopes that Santa will soon be there.
As they sleep, Santa Claus or Sankt Nikolaus visits and fills the shoes with special treats if theyve been good, or a bundle of twigs if they've been bad!
In some parts of Germany, Santa is accompanied by a scary fellow traveler named Knecht Ruprecht, otherwise known as Krampas, Rumpelklas, Bellzebub or other names depending on which region he visits.
Santa, as well, appears in different guises in various parts of the country. There is a Santa look-alike by the name of Weihnachtsmann who is be the bearer of gifts, while in other regions it is das Christkind (the Christ child) who sends a Christmas messenger in the form of an angel to bestow treats upon deserving little boys and girls.
The German Christmas Feast
Advent calendars mark the days until Christmas, as households throughout Germany are busy cleaning, or shopping at traditional German Christmas markets -- and baking in preparation for Christmas Day, with its traditional feast of roast goose or pork, potato dumplings and vegetables.
Elsewhere on the Web, learn more about the country's holiday traditions, additional links & resources to Christmas feasting, and discover what else is going on at world-renowned Christmas fairs & markets in our guide to A Merry Christmas in Germany ...
The Christmas fairs & markets of Germany - This year's complete schedule of Christmas markets includes those for Aachen, Berlin, Cologne, Duesselforf, Dresden, Essen, Frankfort, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and throughout Germany with related resources.
German Christmas Museum - Take the virtual tour of a favorite Rothenburg attraction with a history of Christmas observances, customs & traditions, with maps and directions, hours & admission fees.
Christmas in Germany - Read a feature article highlighting top holiday traditions & attractions in Weisbaden and Baden Baden
with a recipe & instructions for springerle cookies and Black Forest stollen.