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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Germany Series at GermanPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind German holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 6. Christmas Day
In this lesson, we will discuss how people celebrate Christmas Day in Germany, called Weihnachten in German. Christmas falls every year on December 25, and it is a statutory holiday like December 26. According to the Christian tradition, Jesus was born at midnight on December 25. In celebration of this event, people greet each other with "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays", which are Frohe Weihnachten! and Frohe Festtage in German.
Now, before we get into more detail, I've got a question for you-
Who composed the most famous Christmas Oratorio in Germany?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later, so keep listening!
The first two holidays of the Christmas season, called Weihnachtsfeiertage, are a part of the Christmas vacation, which is why so many families use these holidays to visit their relatives and friends and celebrate Christmas with them. At this time, people give gifts, eat cookies together, take a Christmas stroll, or attend a Christmas Eve service.
In some families, goose is the favored bird at the Christmas table on December 25 or 26. There are numerous ways of cooking this festive food; some people stuff the goose with apples, sweet chestnuts, or onions. Traditionally, the Christmas goose, known as Weihnachtsgans, is served with dumplings, red cabbage, and sauce.
Colorful plates are kept under many German Christmas trees, upon which are served a plethora of festive treats, such as homemade cookies, mandarins, apples, nuts, and Christmas cookies including chocolate-covered dominoes, gingerbread cake, spiced cookies, and marzipan. Cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, and anise are spices that are commonly used for Christmas cookies, which are called Weihnachtsplätzchen.
Christmas fruit cake is called Christstollen, and is a typical Christmas sweet made of raisins and bitter almonds and covered with powdered sugar. The biggest fruit cake ever baked was in Dresden and was 3.24 meters long, 1.77 meters wide and 80 centimeters in height, and weighed almost 3 tons. One ton is equivalent to 1,000 kilograms!
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Who composed the most famous Christmas Oratorio in Germany?
Johann Sebastian Bach, who was born in 1685 in Eisenach and died in Leipzig in 1750, composed the most famous Christmas Oratorio in Germany. The premieres took place at St. Nicholas Church and St. Thomas Church in Leipzig in the years 1734-1735.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson?
Did you learn anything interesting?
How do you celebrate Christmas in your country?
Leave a comment telling us at GermanPod101.com. Until next time!

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How do you celebrate Christmas in your country?