Nikolaus or Santa in Germany

About a week ago, I spotted all these Nikoläuse (plural for Nikolaus) in our local supermarket.

Either the Nikolaus’s  early appearance had lapsed into oblivion over the years, or sales are getting more aggressive. It’s probably a combination of both.

Nikolaus at the German supermarket

These Stiefelgeschenke (stocking fillers) are meant for the morning of December 6, when Nikolaus comes around, and rewards the good children by stuffing goodies into their boots left outside the home.

Even though Nikolaus might resemble Santa, they are two different traditions . Nikolaus was a Greek bishop (4th century) and Santa, well, he is from the Northpole.

I do miss the 60s for our innocence. We children did not expect anything and there was nothing whatsoever, resembling Nikolaus (Dec 6) or Christkind (Dec 24), in any village grocery store. Our parents left us behind with an aunt, when they did their Christmas shopping in the nearby town.

I have to admit I had my first taste of Lebkuchen and Zimtsterne (traditional Christmas cookies). The other day though, I refused a cup of hot Glühwein (mulled wine), as I don’t want to have it too early, because I might get tired of it even before the Christmarket season begins.
At Allthingsgerman, you can read more on Der Niklaustag.

 

Christmas Pack 1

“Christmas Pack 1” is a collection of 13 transcripts, each in their own PDF file. The pack is a ZIP file containing the 13 PDFs and is available from the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

The transcripts in this pack are:

To find out more, visit the AllThingsGerman Download Store.

Glühwein

Glühwein is wine that has been spiced and heated up – although not boiled! It is drunk in winter during advent and as such is strongly associated with Christmas in Germany.

The main spices used are cinnamon, cloves, lemon and aniseed and both red and white wine can be used, although red wine is more common at the markets. It is also available ready-to-drink in bottles and cartons at supermarkets.

In English it is known as mulled wine.

To hear a simple explanation and a short discussion in German, listen to the podcast:

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