German Language Blog

What Will Christmas Look Like In Germany This Year? Posted by on Nov 25, 2020 in Culture, Holidays, Language, Traditions

Guten Tag! In exactly one month, it will be Weihnachten (Christmas)! And, for obvious reasons, Weihnachten is going to look quite different this year. In Germany, this is no exception.

Photo by Florinel Gorgan on Unsplash

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus restrictions, new rules have been put together for the Christmas period in celebrating countries. The aim is to allow people to see their families at Christmas time, whilst keeping everyone as safe as possible. Here’s how it’s likely to look in Germany:

Kontaktregeln für Weihnachten – Rules for Christmas contact

23. Dezember – 1. Januar:

  • More than two Haushalte (households) will be allowed to meet;
  • This will be for a maximum of 10 people, but under 14s don’t count;
  • Selbstisolation (self-isolation) is encouraged for as many days as possible in the run-up to December 23rd, to help prevent any possibility of the virus spreading over die festliche Zeit (the festive period);
  • Kirchen (churches) may still go ahead with festive ceremonies, but on a smaller scale;
  • The traditional Silvesterfeuerwerk (New Year’s fireworks) will be discouraged/banned in some public places.

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash.

Germany’s public celebrations will also look very different this year, as the majority of its 3,000 outdoor Weihnachtsmärkte (Christmas markets) are being cancelled. These markets are like the heart and soul of Germany in the run up to Christmas, and are a great source of tourism for the country as well, so this is no doubt a blow to the retailers, the residents, and the German economy.


Since things will be different this year, I thought this would be a good opportunity to relive the magic of a German Christmas via the blog. Hopefully will this not only lift our spirits, but remind us that there are so many things we can still enjoy this Christmas, restrictions or not. For example, this post will tell you what the German Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) is usually like, while this one will make you want to make a nice, warming mug of Glühwein (mulled wine).

Glühwein made with Zimt, Orangen and Sternanis (Image from

A lot of Christmas traditions as we know them today, have their roots in Germany or Austria. Want to know about the history of the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree)? Click this post! And what about the festive snow globe? This is an Austrian invention that came about almost by accident – this post will tell you its fascinating story.

Perhaps you want to know more about Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus, and the Christkind? Click here to learn the difference between them.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

No matter what, we can still enjoy Christmas this year with some good food. Want to know what a German Christmas dinner looks like? This post will make you hungry. The Germans also have a whole host of delicious, traditional Christmas bakes – maybe you want to give them a try? This post will tell you more!

There’s nothing like a good Christmas song to get you into the spirit of things, and German ones are as festive as they get. Click this post to hear and learn the famous “O Christmas tree” in German (“O Tannenbaum”).

Photo by Food Photographer | Jennifer Pallian on Unsplash

And who could forget the story of Krampus? What about the New Year’s Eve tradition of Silvesterklaus, over in Switzerland? These are some fun characters to learn about, perhaps with your kids (if they’re brave enough!).

Krampus. Photo by Alessio Zaccaria on Unsplash

Now I am feeling festlich!! I hope you are, too! For more posts on this subject, simply click the tag: Christmas

Bis bald!

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.