Bescherung | Word of the Week | DW | 18.12.2012
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Word of the Week


Counting down the days to Christmas...

As the last remaining doors on advent calendars around the world are prised open, the countdown to Christmas Day and the opening of a haul of presents reaches fever-pitch. But children in Germany won't be up all night on December 24th wondering about what Santa Claus has brought them this year. Actually, in Germany there's no Santa Claus coming down the chimney on Christmas Eve at all. Here, presents are delivered either by the Christkindl, the Christ Child, or by the German version of Father Christmas, the Weihnachtsmann. Bescherung takes place on Christmas Eve and refers to the traditional German custom of exchanging gifts. It's the most important date on the festive calendar, the time when children across the land gather around the Tannenbaum, the Christmas tree, to open their presents and spend time with family and friends.

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