How are the holidays celebrated in Germany? We like bringing real culture to the videos in our app, so we’ve created a new German Holiday Survival Kit course to show you. Here’s a breakdown of 5 phrases from the course and how they’re used in context:
Zeit für die Bescherung! – Time for (Christmas) presents!
There’s a word for everything in German: For the tradition of exchanging presents for Christmas, it’s die Bescherung. This happens on Christmas Eve in Germany, rather than in the morning of the 25th. Because, why wait?
Das riecht gut – That smells nice
What are the smells of Christmas in Germany? Well, walking into someone’s home, you can expect some typical Christmas incense smoking out of wooden figurines and the sweet smell of Christmas cookies creeping up your nose. Christmas market smells are a concoction of mulled wine, sizzling meat on grills, candied almonds, gingerbread hearts and fried Christmas doughnuts.
Guten Rutsch! – Happy New Year! (before New Year)
With guten Rutsch, you’re seeing somebody off before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve and you’re literally wishing them a “good slide” into the new year. At midnight and after, you’d say happy New Year with frohes Neues (Jahr)!
Von Glühwein bekomme ich Kopfschmerzen – Mulled wine gives me headaches
It’s kind of a German sport to visit Christmas markets and to drink as much Glühwein (literally ‘glow-wine’) as you can. Though beware: some cheaper ones might give you a headache. If you need a bit of an extra kick, you can drink Glühwein’s cousin Feuerzangenbowle (literally ‘fire-punch’). This will definitely get you into the holiday spirit!
Zeit für einen Neujahrsspaziergang – Time for a New Year’s stroll
After a loud and boozy holiday period, the first day of the new year should be reserved for some introspection (and to cure potential hangovers from the night before). Many Germans do that with a sobering stroll on the 1st of January, called Neujahrsspaziergang.
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