Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Odd German Way No. 4 - the Early Arrival of the Weihnachtsmann

I have found out, how Santa Claus has the time to visit children all over the world on Christmas! I had thought it has something to do with the time zones, but there is another thing helping him: he visits German children already on December 6th!

The previous night, Dec 5th, German children clean their shoes (usually boots) and place them outside the door. During the night, Weihnachtsmann (German name for Santa Claus) brings small gifts, like sweets, apples, nuts and coins, to the shoes. 

Well, this is what my German teacher told me. I guess Santa Claus visits only part of Germany, as for some children it is Nikolaus (dressed like Santa Claus but a different person), who visits on December 6th.

So, is this all the German kids get during Christmas time, some sweets and nuts? No, they will have another visitor as well: Chirstkind!  I thought Christ-child would be a boy, but my German teacher told me I should call the child 'she' (in German das Christkind is neuter). On December 24th, she brings German children their gifts. In many families, she also decorates the Christmas tree while the children are not home.

But you cannot fool these Christmas characters. They must know that we are going to spend Christmas in Finland and Santa Claus will visit us then, so he didn't bring us any treats last night. Or maybe our shoes were not polished enough...

1 comment:

AmsterdaMummy said...

In Amsterdam we were also visited by Sinterklaas on Monday evening - same 'Saint' it seems, we don't have to polish our shoes tho...