Did they already celebrate christmas in the middle ages?

Even in the Middle Ages people celebrated Christmas. The first Christians already existed soon after Jesus’ death and finally at Christmas one celebrates. exactly: the birth of Jesus. (It is not the birth of Santa Claus, as it has also been said).

Some of today’s Christmas customs have their origins in the Middle Ages, some are even older, others have not been around for so long.

Already in the 4. In the 18th century, the feast of Christ was postponed to the 25. December dated. The Roman Christians celebrated Jesus’ birth on this day. In the German-speaking world, this can be said at least for the 8. Century prove.

Because Jesus was born at night, according to the Bible, church services were moved to the evening before, i.e. the 24th. December, the "Christmas Eve. Originally there were even four holidays. They were then shortened to three and finally in the 18. Century on two.

Nativity play with children

Nativity scenes were already known in the 11th century. Century. [ © Goto / pl.wikipedia ]

Christmas tree decorated

Decorated Christmas trees have not been around for very long. [ © Source: pixabay.com ]

Martin Luther is responsible for Christmas presents

In 1535, Martin Luther advocated giving children presents at Christmas, instead of on St. Nicholas’ Day, when they were given apples, nuts, or pastries. The interest especially of the children should be directed to Jesus instead of a saint. In addition, especially the poor should be given gifts, because at Christmas no one should go hungry.

Nativity plays and Christmas story

Nativity plays were already used in the 11th century. Century listed. The Christmas story about Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus was performed at the altar. The custom of setting up Christmas cribs is older. Depictions of the stable with Jesus and ox and donkey existed as early as the 5. Century. Mary didn’t come along as a character until the Middle Ages.

The fir tree

Greenery was probably brought into the house in pre-Christian times to decorate it and to welcome the winter solstice. However, the erection of a whole fir tree was only introduced in the 17th century. Century common. With candles one decorates it even only since the 18. Century.

And the Christmas carols? There were, of course, songs that were sung in the church service. Songs that were sung at home with the family at Christmas, and that we still sing today, originated mainly in the 19. Century, for example "O du frohliche" or "Oh Christmas tree.


Hm, delicious gingerbread! [ © Source: pixelio.com ]

Christmas markets and Christmas cookies existed from when?

The first Christmas markets actually existed in 14. Century. The oldest is said to have been the one in Bautzen, which was first held in 1384. However, it was mainly a meat market. Since 1434 there is the Dresden Striezelmarkt and since 1458 the Leipzig Christmas Market.

There were also special pastries at Christmas as early as the late Middle Ages, for example gingerbread, Aachener Printen or Spekulatius. Christstollen are also made since the 14. Century baked.

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