The "atmosphere" in Germany happens during Advent, the four weeks BEFORE the actual Christmas holidays. By Guy Trebay Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve and There is No “Boxing Day” in Germany Unlike in North America, many Germans celebrate the gift opening on Dec. 24th. On the 24th (Christmas Eve), most Germans work a half day and shops are open until the early afternoon. Christmas in Germany doesn't last for one day but for three. December 24 is technically a holiday, though some grocery stores are open in the morning; everything is closed on December 25 and 26.

The German traditions of this day are similar to those around the globe. This day is usually reserved for visiting close family that lives further away such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles.

There are many other Christmas customs and traditions — national, regional, and local — unique to German-speaking Europe. By taking only one day's leave, employees can have a four-day weekend. Gifts are usually opened on the evening of the 24th. December 25th in Germany is also known as “Erster Weihnachtstag” (first Christmas Day). Same goes for December 26th, the “Zweiter Weihnachtstag” (second Christmas Day). Dresden boasts the most Christmas markets in the eastern region of Germany and it also hosts its oldest seasonal event, the Striezel Christmas Market which dates back to 1434. Today, it lives on in performances by neo-Nazi and far-right extremists in Germany—a chilling reminder that though the Nazis’ first war on Christmas failed, it could happen again one day. The Three Kings Day, better known as Epiphany, is 6 January, the day after the 12 days of Christmas.

Unlike the U.S., Germany celebrates two Christmas days, the 25th and the 26th. The larger Christmas meal is served on Dec. 25th, and there is no “Boxing Day” on Dec. 26th. There are very few places where the Christmas markets reopen after Christmas - most terminate, as the tradition requires, by Christmas Eve or even earlier. Hello there .

Christmas Traditions in Germany Advent customs, Saint Nicholas Day and Christmas Eve Favourite Christmas traditions in Germany include a visit to one of the various Christmas markets (Weihnachtsmarkt), baking yummy cookies, and decorating the home with candle arches, twigs and wooden pyramids. Public transport runs on Sunday/holiday schedule during the Christmas holidays. One German Christmas custom the US has yet to adopt is the two-day celebration. Christmas day is a little different. Europe - Christmas Holidays in Germany: what is closed, what is open? December 25: Christmas Day (Weihnachtstag) (N) Christmas Day is a public holiday in Germany and is celebrated on December 25.