A Very German Christmas

While Christmas traditions vary around the world, some are adopted across the globe. The tradition of the Christmas tree began in Germany. The idea of adding lights to it is credited to Martin Luther, who wanted to recreate the feeling of awe and joy which came over him when he saw stars twinkling through the trees in a forest. It came to the UK with the marriage of Prince Albert to Queen Victoria and then spread throughout what was then the British Empire, being adopted most enthusiastically in places where there were large numbers of people of British or German origin. As the popularity of Christmas trees grew, so did the decorations available for them.

Plenty of other German Christmas traditions have spread internationally, such as the custom of holding Christmas markets. While these are held throughout Europe, many of the most famous ones are in Germany, so much so that some English-speaking countries have either invited German stallholders to visit their country at Christmas time or have attempted to recreated German-style markets in their local area. These markets are good places to buy traditional German delicacies such as stollen and lebkuchen. Those heading to Australia for Christmas or playing a visit to the country in the New Year’s resolution will likely find the time of year a very different experience in the Southern Hemisphere, since it is the height of summer there. Enlisting the services of a German NAATI translator will help to ensure that a visit gets off to a good start.