Christmas traditions from Germany

German Christmas Traditions the British Love

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​A couple of weeks ago we talked about British Christmas traditions that nobody else really follows. Not all of our traditions are so unique! Quite a few either originate in Germany or are ones we have in common. Here are just a few:

Mulled Wine

Christmas meal

It seems that Glühwein caught on in Britain only in the Victorian era, roughly a hundred and fifty to a hundred years ago. By contrast, what we call mulled wine has been drunk in Germany dating back to at least the 1400s. It’s a wonderfully warming drink with a great taste (and a brilliant way to use cheap bottles of wine), but sadly the UK doesn’t yet have the Feuerzangenbowle in which rum is added and the drink is set alight.

(We might have to make it a tradition here, though!)


Again, this one is a late arrival to the UK, really only catching on in the last thirty years or so. It’s become a huge part of a typical British Christmas, even being embraced as an alternative to the traditional British Christmas cake – it’s lighter, has many of the same flavours, and it’s bright and attractive. No wonder it’s catching on!

Christmas Markets

Image of the Christmas markets

As little time ago as twenty years, a Christmas market was a novelty in Britain that only reached one or two cities. Now, there are enough different markets out there, with so much variety and such a weight of tradition behind them that the back office team here had nearly a day long debate about which of the markets was ‘best’.

The Advent Wreath

The advent wreath

You’ll see wreaths in both the most heavily ornamented Christmas homes and those which don’t even bother with trees. These tasteful little displays are an easy way to add that festive touch to a room, and the candles lit within are heavily associated with Christmas here making it an easy addition to a household’s own Christmas traditions.

How do you display your Adventskranz?