Christmas In Germany


Christmas Traditions from Germany


Frohe Weihnachten!

Do you know what that means? That means “Merry Christmas” in German! You may not be aware that some of our favorite traditions came from Germany. Here are a few:         

  • The Christmas tree: The Christmas tree is a German custom that started in the 16th century, about 500 years ago. Devout Christians decorated trees and brought them into their homes. This custom was later brought to America by German immigrants. The first record of a Christmas tree in America was in the 1830s by German settlers in Pennsylvania. US President Franklin Pierce put up the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1856.
  • Christmas lights: Supposedly, Martin Luther, the 16th-century Protestant reformer, first added lighted candles to a tree. One winter evening, he was awed by the stars twinkling among the evergreens.  He was inspired and put a tree with candles on wires in the main room. After electric lights were invented by Thomas Edison, those candles became Christmas lights.
  • The Glass Pickle: Some families hide a pickle ornament in their trees. The first child to find the pickle gets a special gift. This tradition probably came from the Germans’ use of apples, nuts, cookies, and other food to decorate their Christmas trees. When a very big chain of department stores named Woolworths imported ornaments from Germany, the pickle ornament became was very popular.


Germany also has its own traditions, including:

  • Christmas Markets: Christmas markets decorate and dazzle Germany around this time of year! Sellers set up stalls in the market square. The stalls have handmade items, like ornaments and nutcrackers. Christmas markets start appearing during the first week of Advent. The most well-known of these Christmas markets are the ones in Nuremberg and Berlin.
  • Christkindl: In Germany, the gifts were brought by “Christkindl,” the Christ child. Another name for Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, comes from a misunderstanding of the German name Christkindl.
  • Bad Santa: In Germany, they have a tradition called “Knecht Ruprecht” or “Krampus.” Krampus is a second Santa Claus. He accompanies Santa him on his way around the world and gives coal to the naughty kids. German kids better watch out!


Hoped you liked these interesting facts about Christmas in Germany!!!

Merry Christmas, Falcons!