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Christmas in Germany - statistics & facts

Christmas is arguably the most popular holiday in Germany. Anticipation and festive activities start well before Christmas Eve on December 24, with a number of traditions marking the German holiday season. The famous Christmas markets, well known for their beautiful decorations and stalls selling various items, from gifts to food and mulled wine, usually open around the end of November. Dates vary slightly depending on the federal state, but typically the markets stay open until Christmas Day on December 25, with some open even a few days after. In 2020, German Christmas markets were not allowed to open as per government regulations concerning the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In 2021, conditions depend on regional infection rates, but many states have opened their markets, with visitors having to provide, in most cases, proof of either recovery from or full vaccination against COVID-19.

Other traditions include the advent calendar. This takes on different shapes and forms. The calendar can be either store bought or made individually, but the defining feature are 24 sections for the 24 days in December until Christmas Day, with each section containing a small gift for the day. A classic example is a larger cardboard package with small "doors" marked with the date, which can be opened, revealing the surprise behind it. The advent calendar is very popular among children, but adults also happily partake in this tradition, and gift each other various versions. Based on a survey conducted in Germany in 2020, the most popular filling for an advent calendar among both men and women is chocolate.

While the population normally starts getting into the Christmas mood later in November, retailers start preparing several months in advance. Despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the restrictions it imposed on shopping outside of home, not to mention concerns among consumers about getting infected, retail revenue during the Christmas trading period continued to grow annually, amounting to 111.7 billion euros thus far in 2021. Predictably, online Christmas sales revenue has continued to grow in recent years, amounting to over 23 billion euros in the same time.


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