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Chrismas and New year in Germany

Christmas in Germany is celebrated with many traditions that are unique to Germany. Christmas celebrates the birth of the Christ child, Baby Jesus.

Christmas celebrations start in Germany on 24th December (Christmas Eve) when Christmas gifts are exchanged. On 25th December (Christmas Day) and 26 December, usually the family gets together for celebrations and also the religious Christians will visit Christmas mass during these days. The German festive season starts at the end of November or early December with the Advent celebrations. During the festive season, many cities and towns hold christmas markets which open usually from beginning of December until Christmas eve.

New year in Germany

New Year’s Eve in Germany is also known as Silvester, named in honor of Pope Silvester who died on December 31, 335 AD. It’s celebrated with a mixture of animistic and Germanic rituals and Christian beliefs: loud noises drive ghosts and evil away, other traditions bring luck, predictions for the new year are read in molten lead poured in cold water (Bleigießen), and church bells ring across the country to announce the arrival of a new year. In Germany, most stores close around 2 pm on the 31st of December, and almost all are closed on New Year’s Day. On the last day of the year, people make sure they have everything they need to host their parties or holiday dinners.

At midnight, fireworks are lit and people go out into the streets or onto their balconies to watch the show.

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