The scent of cinnamon and sprigs of fir, the soft melodies of traditional Christmas carols and the flickering candles on the Advent wreath. Although every family incorporates their own traditions at Christmas, here in Germany we all know and love the classic Christmas customs. But how do other Brenners guests celebrate the festive season?
In Russia, Christmas is celebrated slightly later, on 31st December to be exact when Jack Frost riding a sleigh drawn by 3 horses visits every house to bring presents to the children. Christmas Eve is not celebrated with the family until 7th January as this date corresponds to 25th December in the Julian calendar.
Christmas in Spain is different again: here the festive period begins with the traditional Christmas lottery draw on 22nd December. The 28th December is similar to April Fools’ Day in the UK and USA when attempts are made to trick others with made-up stories and false reports appear in the media. Christmas, in fact, isn’t actually celebrated until Epiphany on 6th January when the Three Wise Men bring presents for the children and they are honoured at large parades that take place throughout the country.
Christmas isn’t celebrated once but four times in Italy. It starts on 6th December, the day of San Nicola, and continues a week later when presents are given to the poor. On 24th December, Christmas Eve is celebrated with the family but the actual Christmas celebration doesn’t take place until 6th January. In the early hours of the morning, the good witch Befana comes down the chimney with gifts for all good children. In the stockings of bad children she simply leaves lumps of coal!
Regardless of where you are from one thing remains the same in Brenners – all guests are more than welcome to celebrate their version of Christmas with us! And whatever traditions and customs you follow, we want you to feel at home in our hotel. I am already looking forward to celebrating the season of goodwill with you and with the large Brenners family!
Yours Markus Schindler