I am bored, what should I do? Ah, ich weiss! Get Germanized! Hallo und Willkommen! Ich bin MeisterLehnsherr, uhm, Santa Clause und ihr seht "Get Germanized - Top 10 German Christmas Traditions"! Our first Weihnachtstradition is: "Die vierwöchige Adventszeit - The four-week-long advent time". The Adventszeit was celebrated in ancient Rome as early as the 6th century and serves as preparation for the birthday of Christ. Advent means Ankunft (arrival) and stands for the arrival of Christ in this world. The Adventszeit begins on the fourth Sunday before the 24th of December. On the first advent, dem ersten Advent, Germans light the first of four candles on their Adventskranz, which brings us to the next tradition: Der Adventskranz - the advent wreath The Adventskranz has its origin in Hamburg, being created about 150 years ago by pastor Johann Heinrich Wichern. He was the owner of an orphanage and during the Adventszeit he held devotions in which he told the orphans about Christmas. Each day they lit a candle on a chandelier until Christmas day when there were 24 candles illuminating the room. The children liked this custom so much that they built their own smaller versions with four candles, one for each Sunday of the month, which is now known as the Adventskranz. Today the wreaths are made of branches and are decorated with Christmas ornaments and four candles. Each Sunday Germans light one of the candles as a symbol for increasing life during the dark German Winter time. Advent Sundays are a chance for families to sit down with coffee and cake and enjoy time together. Our third German Christmas tradition is: Der Adventskaldender - The Advent Calender The calendar comes in all different shapes and has 24 little doors or bags. The traditional version holds a picture and a piece of chocolate behind each door while modern versions can even come with toys. The doors of the calendar mark the time until Holy Night, Heiligabend. The inventor of the calendar is most likely Gerhard Lang. When he was young, his mother drew 24 squares on a piece of cardboard and put a cookie in each of them. Later in life he remembered his mother's custom and decided to print his own version in 1908. It still had no doors but colorful pictures instead of cookies. The first calendars with doors were made around 1920, and since 1958 came with chocolates inside. The fourth German Christmas tradition is: Kartoffelsalat und Wurst - Potato Salad and Sausage Yum! Many Germans have potato salad and sausages on Heiligabend. Others eat fish or fish soup. This was originally done to remember the poverty of Maria und Joef, Mary and Joseph, the night before Christ was born. Many people still fast on this night or eat only light food. An easy meal also spares you a day of slaving away in the kitchen! My elves can tell a story about that! The fith German Christmas tradition is: Weihnachtspyramiden - Christmas Pyramids The origins of the Christmas pyramids dates back to the Middle Ages, when I was still a bit younger! In this period it was traditional in southern and western Europe to bring evergreen branches into the home and hang them in order to ward off moroseness during the dark and cold winter months. In northern and eastern Europe traditional candles were used to achieve this goal. The Christmas pyramid would eventually unify those two traditions and become a symbol of Christmas celebrations. It is also suggested the pyramid is a predecessor of the Christmas tree, dem Weihnachtsbaum. Our next German Christmas tradition is one of my favourites: Christmas Markets -- Weihnachtsmärkte Christmas markets, sometimes also called Christkindlesmarkt (Christ child market) or Advent(s)markt (Advent market) are the meeting spot during the Adventszeit for almost every German and his friends. Many families make it a tradition to go to a Weihnachtsmarkt before Christmas, where they meet friends, listen to Christmas carols and have a Glühwein (glow wine), a hot spicy kind of wine that keeps you warm from inside and keeps you going during your Christmas market adventure! There are also many booths selling hand-crafted gifts, Christmas foods and other delicious surprises. Sometimes you can even sneak an early look at the Weihnachtsmann, Santa Clause, roaming the markets and handing out chocolates and gifts to children. Yeah that's what I like to do! Our seventh German Christmas tradition is: Secret Santa (Sneaky Santa) also known as Wichteln which literally translated means "gnoming" and is often done by Germans and their friends during the Adventszeit. There are many variations but the traditional one is to draw a person'S name out of a hat and then buy a personalized gift for the person you've drawn. There is also a variation for those who are not big on spending lots of money which is called "Schrottwichteln" (trash gnoming).This is my personal favourite! In this version the participants often pick something they already own but don't need anymore, such as an old DVD, a book or pretty much anything you can think of. The eigth German Christmas tradition is: Kekse backen -- Baking Cookies That is also one of my favourite traditions! Baking delicious cookies is just as traditional for many Germans as Christmas Markets or wichteln. Getting together with your friends, having fun and maybe even drinking a few glasses of Glühwein is a must for many. German Christmas tradition number nine: Unwrapping presents on the 24th of December Unlike other countries, Germans want to get things done early on and unwrap all of their presents on the evening of the 24th of December, which is Heiligabend (Holy Night/Evening). Many Germans go to Church or have a walk outside with their family and come back to have a meal first and then prepare for the "Bescherung", the handing out of the presents on Christmas. Last but not least, a German Christmas tradition I'm very familiar with: Nikolaustag / Krampustag On the evening of the 6th of December, Nikolaustag, German kids clean their shoes and put them in front of the fireplace and then wait for Nikolaus to fill them with chocolates, candy and even little gifts on the morning of the sith of December. If the kid's been nice during the year they can expect a gift from Sankt Nikolaus but if they've been naughty Saint Nick's helper Knecht Ruprecht, a sketchy looking man with a whip on his belt, is coming to get and punish them! In Southern Germany Knecht Ruprecht is replaced by the Krampus, a demonic-looking creature that drags naughty children off to hell! If you wanna know more about the Krampus, make sure to check out my video about it HERE! That was the Top 10 German Christmas Traditions! What's YOUR favourite Christmas tradition? Do you celebrate Christmas at all? If not, what do you do on that day instead? If you found this video interesting, please give it a thumbs-up and share it with your friends to make Santa happy and spread the German Christmas traditions! And by the way, I've eaten a bit of tomato sauce before this video so I'm sorry about that! Make sure to subscribe to my channel for weekly videos, like my Facebook and visit me on Twitter and Instagram for exclusive bonus content and sneak peeks into my daily Santa life here in Germany. You can support the channel, uhm, I mean Santa and get access to many cool rewards like a monthly Google Hangout with me by becoming a patron HERE! Vielen Dank fürs Zusehen, thank you for watching, don't forget to Get Germanized, frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!