German/Level I/Das Fest

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Lesson I.10: Das Fest

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.


Read and listen to the following dialogue between mother and daughter: Roswitha and Anja. Both of them want to decorate for Christmas.

Dialogue: English language.svg Decoration — Flag of Germany and Austria.svg Dekoration
Roswitha Heute ist der erste Advent. Lass uns zusammen schmücken!
Anja Au ja, Mama. Ich hole die Dekoration heraus.
Roswitha Den Adventskranz stellen wir wie jedes Jahr auf den Wohnzimmertisch und die Weihnachtspyramide kommt auf das Regal.
Anja Wo soll ich den Räuchermann hinstellen?
Roswitha Stelle ihn bitte mal auf den Fenstersims hin, Mäuschen.
Anja Wird gemacht!
Vocabulary: English language.svg words of the dialogue — Flag of Germany and Austria.svg Wörter vom Dialog
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - words of the dialogue.ogg, how to upload audio)
advent der Advent
decorate schmücken, dekorieren
decoration die Dekoration, die Deko coll., der Schmuck
advent wreath der Adventskranz
coffee table der Wohnzimmertisch
Christmas pyramid die Weihnachtspyramide
shelf das Regal
sill der Fenstersims, die Fensterbank
Little mouse das Mäuschen
  • In Austria Adventkranz

Es gibt[edit]

Grammatik: English language.svg There is — Flag of Germany and Austria.svg Es gibt
(missing file: File:German Grammatik - There is.ogg, how to upload audio)
German English
Es gibt Zimt There is cinnamon
Es gibt ein Rentier There is a reindeer
Es gibt Nussknacker There are nutcrackers
Es gibt ein paar Ausstecher There are some cookie cutter
  • 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.

Weihnachten in Deutschland[edit]

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.

Vocabulary: English language.svg Christmas — Flag of Germany and Austria.svg Weihnachten
(missing file: File:German Vocabulary - Christmas.ogg, how to upload audio)
Merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!
Fröhliche Weihnachten! (used by Santa)
advent season die Adventszeit
advent calendar der Adventskalender
bag der Sack
boot der Stiefel
caroller der Sternsinger
Christmas bauble die Christbaumkugel
Christmas bonus Weihnachtsgeld
Christmas carol das Weihnachtslied
Christmas card die Weihnachtskarte
Christmas cracker Knallbonbon
Christmas Day Speech die Weihnachtsansprache
Christmas Eve der Heiligabend
Christmas market der Weihnachtsmarkt
Christmas ornament Christbaumschmuck, Weihnachtsbaumschmuck
Christmas present das Weihnachtsgeschenk
Christmas spirit die Weihnachtsstimmung
Christmas time die Weihnachtszeit
Christmas tree der Weihnachtsbaum, der Christbaum
crib die Krippe
dining table der Esstisch
do a secret Santa wichteln
flavour der Duft
gift giving die Bescherung
gnome der Wichtel
holly die Stechpalme
Jack Frost Väterchen Frost
list of wishes der Wunschzettel
mistletoe der Mistelzweig
North Pole der Nordpol
nutcracker der Nussknacker
poinsettia der Weihnachtsstern
Santa's Little Helper Knecht Ruprecht
sleigh der Schlitten
St. Nicholas St. Nikolaus
the three Magi die heiligen drei Könige
tinsel das Lametta
tradition der Brauch
  • Do you have the Christmas spirit yet? - Bist du schon in Weihnachtsstimmung?
  • Do you decorate your house this year? - Schmückst du dieses Jahr dein Haus?
  • On St. Nicholas Day gets Julian a little present. - An Nikolaustag bekommt Julian ein kleines Geschenk.
  • The Queen takes every year a Christmas Day Speech. - Die Queen hält jedes Jahr eine Weihnachtsansprache.
  • The whole room is sweet with cinnamon. - Der ganze Raum duftet nach Zimt.


  • The Dativ, also called 3. Fall or Wemfall is in the German language the third object.
  • Die Kokosmakronen gehören der Anja. - You ask: Wem gehören die Kokosmakronen? - the answer is: Der Anja (gehören die Kokosmakronen).
  • Lisa schenkt (dem) Björn ein Spekulatius - You ask: Wem schenkt Lisa ein Spekulatius? - the answer is: Dem Björn (schenkt Lisa ein Spekulatius).


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.

(edit template) 50%.svg Level I Lessons (discussion)

100 percents.svg I.0 Introduction

Section I.A: 100 percents.svg I.1 Wie heißt du? (1. Teil)100 percents.svg I.2 Wie heißt du? (2. Teil)100 percents.svg I.3 Bitte buchstabieren Sie100 percents.svg Review Section I.A

Section I.B: 100 percents.svg I.4 Freizeit100 percents.svg I.5 Geburtstag100 percents.svg I.6 Essen25%.svg Review Section I.B

Section I.C: 50%.svg I.7 Kleidung50%.svg I.8 Familie und Nationalität25%.svg I.9 Schule25%.svg Review Section I.C

Section I.D: 25%.svg I.10 Das Fest25%.svg I.11 Privileg und Verantwortung25%.svg I.12 Wetter00%.svg Review Section I.D

Section I.E: 00%.svg I.13 Zu Hause essen00%.svg I.14 Filme00%.svg I.15 Das Haus00%.svg Review Section I.E