Words you need to understand Christmas in Germany | Meet the Germans | DW | 29.11.2017

Meet the Germans

Words you need to understand Christmas in Germany

Christmas is celebrated in many countries, but little details — and the words used to describe them — can reveal interesting cultural differences. These terms provide insight into German particularities.

Christmas is a time filled with traditions and imagery, and there are countless German words associated with it: "Kerze" (candle), "Wunschzettel" (wish list), "Tannenbaum" (Christmas tree), "Engel" (angel), "Lebkuchen" (gingerbread), "Schneeflocke" (snowflake), "Nussknacker" (Nutcracker) "Zuckerstange" (candy cane), "Rentier" (reindeer), just to name a few.

The English word for "Geschenk," gift, means poison in German, so be careful not to confuse those two.

The words in the gallery above reveal some of the particularities of Christmas in Germany. Of course, traditions vary from region to region and from one family to the other.

There are also many more poetic and amusing German terms that reveal the country's Yuletide spirit. Follow us on Twitter on @dw_culture and send us your favorite ones.




DW recommends

WWW links

Audios and videos on the topic

Albanian Shqip

Amharic አማርኛ

Arabic العربية

Bengali বাংলা

Bosnian B/H/S

Bulgarian Български

Chinese (Simplified) 简

Chinese (Traditional) 繁

Croatian Hrvatski

Dari دری

English English

French Français

German Deutsch

Greek Ελληνικά

Hausa Hausa

Hindi हिन्दी

Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia

Kiswahili Kiswahili

Macedonian Македонски

Pashto پښتو

Persian فارسی

Polish Polski

Portuguese Português para África

Portuguese Português do Brasil

Romanian Română

Russian Русский

Serbian Српски/Srpski

Spanish Español

Turkish Türkçe

Ukrainian Українська

Urdu اردو