Europe | Germany | South | Passau – Christmas in Passau

Europe | Germany | South | Passau – Christmas in Passau

Well, home is where you make it and who you are with… As of now, I am in Passau, Germany, located on the border of Austria and almost Czech Republic, spending a week with Christi’s host family from her year here in high school. Christi, a friend who is visiting her for a month, Steph and me are cosily roommates for the week.

Everyone has their first Christmas away from home, and this year is my turn, it had to be sooner or later… So now I am sitting here, eating up a storm with good people, good times, a good reason to celebrate, and learning some German traditions for Christmas times…

Christmas Eve– to every culture, religion, country– it hast its own different meaning, filled with food, traditions, and whatnot… I am lucky to have experienced this time of year in a new family, culture, religion, and country…

Some simple differences that I have noticed:
*St. Nick Day, I even got chocolate and tangerines at my door, and my housemates don’t even like me that much!
*The Advent Calendar
*The Advent Wreath, the four candles are the four sundays before the birth of jesus
*They wait until the 24th to put their tree up
*They celebrate all of Christmas on the 24th
*They only give few gifts…

Since today is the 24th, we had all of our festivities today… Their Christmas here is unlike back in the states, it is a whole different mood. We showed up this morning a they had just put the tree up and decorated it… And it wasn’t huge, even though there was enough room, and the decorations were simple… Later this evening we had our dinner, but it didn’t seem like Christmas since there was no corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and all that I am used to. Instead, there was kraut, sweet potatoes, a salad-thing, and meat.

Then we all went into the living room and they had set up the manger scene on the floor on top of some baums… And we sat in a circle, the room lit by candles around the manger, and Jasmine read the Christmas story (in German, of course). The whole thing was very neat, and it reminded me what the season was all about. Then we moved onto the presents, and it was very simple. Each family member had bought something nice for the other, nothing fancy, but filled with love. I even got a few gifts, which I appreciated more than they will ever know! And people slowly opened their gifts, thanked that person sincerely, and it was over… The dad opened a bottle of wine he had received as a gift, and that was it…

After our glass of wine we headed to church. The service started at 10 pm in a little, old, catholic church a few minutes away. When we got there the community band was up front playing Christmas songs– some I recognized, and some I didn’t.

And sitting there, amongst one old friend, and a bunch of new ones, I realized how old the church was, and how cold it was since I could see my breath… And I figured something out. Even though I didn’t understand the meaning of the religious traditions, and I didn’t know any of the words to the songs the small congregation was singing, and I couldn’t fully grasp the meaning of the priest’s words, I knew the intentions of the mass, to simply celebrate the season… This message couldn’t be stopped by languages or cultures, the holiday season knows no boundaries, the traditions were started a long time ago, and will continue on after us…

Family, love, and friends has been, and will forever be, the reason to celebrate…

Category : Europe | Germany | South | Passau , Uncategorized