Glossary of German Christmas terms

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What are the most common German Christmas terms?

Glossary of German Christmas terms

St. Martin's Day (November 11): For many Germans and Austrians, St. Martin's Day (Martinstag) marks the start of the Christmas season.
Advent (December 1 – December 24): Advent begins on the first Sunday after Nov. 26. Four Advent Sundays lead up to Christmas Eve. Advent is the Latin for "arrival, coming".
Adventskranz: A wreath with four candles, which are lit on the four Advent Sundays.
Adventskalender: The calendar has 24 windows and counts down the days up to Christmas Eve (Heiligabend) starting on Dec. 1.
Nikolaustag (December 6): St. Nikolaus brings gifts for children. Dec. 6 is also the date when Christmas markets (Christkindlmaerkte) open in many German towns.
Heiligabend (December 24): Germans open their Christmas gifts in the evening of Dec. 24th, not on the morning of Dec. 25th.
Weihnachtsmann: On December 24, Santa Claus brings gifts and candy to small kids (a popular job with German students).
Weihnachtsfeiertage (Dec. 25 and 26): The two days after Christmas Eve are public holidays.
Silvester (December 31): The end of the year (New Year's Eve) is celebrated with parties and fireworks.
Dreikoenigsfest, Epiphany (January 6): The day marks the arrival of the three Wise Men (die Heiligen Drei Koenige). It is the end of the Christmas season in Germany.



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