The annual Christkindlmarkt (reg.)/Weihnachtsmarkt (lit. Christ Child’s Market/Christmas Market) all over the country is what many would call the mainstay of German culture in winter.
Aside from the common culinary joys such as having yourself a cup of the classic Glühwein (punch), gingerbread and fruits dipped in chocolate, enjoy the handicrafts of artisans from all over the globe. Jewellery, decoration, figurines, etc. The size of Christmas markets varies from city to city.
Some offer stage performances of children’s choirs, instrumental music, comedy and the citation of pious bible verses. They as well offer a special program for children, different games and carousels, sell a large variety of all sorts of toys. Alone for the delicious baked hot chestnuts and caramelised almonds it’s worth a visit, trust me. Christmas markets usually open during the weekend before the first advent or a few days earlier.
If you’re rather a down-to-earth and active person, you’re going to enjoy yourself especially in South East Germany: Bring your skiing equipment and race down high, snow-coated mountains such as the Zugspitze (located in the South West of Garmisch-Partenkirchen/Bavaria, 2962m) and the Alpes, which hold a lot of ski resorts and hotels you can have your stay in.
If you prefer things a little slower, try out cross-country skiing in the local forests, for the extra fun-factor take part in sleigh races or just do a fun sleigh ride on your own, with a partner or even with a child.
The German mountainside is an ideal place for skiing-, snowboarding- and hiking-fans. In cozy pubs and sheds in your ski resorts you can listen to winterly music, drink a hot cup of punch and relax, or have a hearty meal.
Towards the end of winter, the fulminant carnival season awakes. It accurately commences on the 11th of November at 11:11 o’clock. It’s when the “5th season” begins. In countless cities and towns, colourful parades are seen on open streets accompanied by band music, decorated wagons pulled by horses are drawing down the road, children as adults in crazy costumes are participating.
The symbolism: “Ushering the winter away.” The huge spectacle attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year. In Mainz (capital of Rhineland-Palatinate), you can visit huge carnival fairs which are all about comedy and show off your amazing costumes.