December 19 – Knocking Nights in Germany

Posted on December 19, 2013

I am always amazed by the variety of customs in the world—but I am also often surprised by some of the similarities I see in various customs.

After writing about Trick-or-Treating at Halloween, I found out that some cultures include similar door-to-door “begging” on St. Martin's Eve and St. Catherine's Eve. Here's another one! In Germany, the three Thursdays before Christmas are called “Knocking Nights.” (Only in German the name is one long word: Klopfelnachte.) 

Tonight kids in rural parts of Southern Germany will dress up in masks and go door to door chanting rhymes that always start with the word “knock.” They make noises as the go from house to house, cracking whips, clattering dishes, and ringing cowbells. This commotion is supposed to drive away evil spirits. Each family gives the children treats such as fruit, candy, or coins.

Enjoy Knocking Day with...wait for it...knock-knock jokes

By the way...
Southern Germany has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth! I once went to the Black Forest area and the Bavarian Alps, in Southern Germany, and the natural beauty and fairy tale castles were gorgeous!

This is what the Black Forest and Bavaria look like in winter (so, basically, right now):

Also on this date:

It's still time for Las Posadas!

Plan ahead:

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