This lesson deals with the Christmas time in the German language countries, where you learn some traditions and vocabularies about Christmas. You'll also learn about "there is" and "there are" in German and about the dative case.
The English words there is and there are are both in German es gibt. When you ask someone, if there's a snowman, you say Gibt es hier einen Schneemann?. Many German native speaker put the words gibt and es into gibt's.
In Germany the advent season begins on Sunday four weeks before Christmas. It's the day where many families decorate their houses or flats, begin to bake some biscuits and start to sing some Christmas carols. One typical decoration is the advent wreath, which has four candles - one candle is lit in the first week, two candles in the second week, etc. - and normally stands on the dining table or on the coffee table. Another tradition, especially for children, is the advent calendar that you hang on the wall. They've often got 24 doors and you're only allowed to open one a day. Other typical Christmas decorations are a crib, a Räuchermann - a wooden figure that blows flavour of incense cones - in Northern Germany a Moosmann, Christmas pyramids and Schwibbogen and nutcrackers and poinsettias and much more. Most Christmas markets start in the first week of Advent. There you can buy some little Christmas presents, decorations, ride some carnival rides, and often drink some hot spiced wine - the children drink punch for children, listen to carolers and enjoy a warm, snowy atmosphere. On the 6th of December, German children celebrate St. Nicholas Day. The children put a boot in front of the door and wait until St. Nicholas brings little presents that are often sweets, walnuts, apples, tangerines and oranges. Bad children get birching by Knecht Ruprecht (which is now forbidden in Germany). Pupils do a secret Santa with other pupils on the last school days before the Christmas holidays, which are often two or three weeks long. St. Nicholas looks similar to Santa Claus who brings big presents on the evening of the 24th of December; in Southern Germany Christkind brings the presents. Most families decorate their Christmas trees on this day with Christmas baubles and tinsel and candles and so forth. After the Christmas dinner, the whole family sits next to the Christmas tree and exchanges gifts.
das Plätzchen, der Keks cookie
die Ausstecher cookie cutter
das Nudelholz rolling pin
die Vanillekipferl vanilla cornets
der Lebkuchen gingerbread
das Lebkuchenhaus gingerbread house
die Kokosmakrone coconut macaroon
die Spitzbuben jammy dodgers, linzer eye a biscuit with currant jam and icing powdered sugar
die Pfeffernuss spice nut
der Christstollen stollen
die Marzipankartoffel marzipan potato
die Weihnachtsgans Christmas goose
der Weihnachtskarpfen Christmas carp
der Truthahn turkey
Würstchen und Kartoffelsalat sausages and potato salad
das Spekulatius almond biscuit
der Baumkuchen pyramid cake
der Mürbeteig shortcrust
der Springerle springerle
das Bethmännchen bethmännchen typical Frankfurt marzipan biscuits
der Zimtstern star-shaped cinnamon biscuit
das Früchtebrot fruitcake
der Bratapfel roast apple
der Dominostein domino a candy that you can eat in advent time
die Zuckerstange candy cane
der Glühwein hot spiced wine
der Kinderpunsch punch for children
das Kenkentjüch kenkentjüch cookies from northern Germany
die gebrannte Mandeln roasted almonds
das Weihnachtsessen Christmas dinner
das Hirschhornsalz salt of harts horn
der Zimt cinnamon
der Puderzucker icing powdered sugar
das Aroma flavour
In the southern part of Germany they have other words for Plätzchen.
So in Swabian they call it Plätzle or Brötle and in Bavaria Platzerl. In Switzerland they call it Guetsli.
Other names for Nudelholz are Teigrolle, Wellholz, Wälgerholz and Rollholz rare.
In Austria and Bavaria they call it Nudelwalker and in Switzerland Wallholz.