German Advent word of the day: Der Lichterglanz

German has a handy word to describe the glow of lights, especially around Christmas.

German Advent word of the day: Der Lichterglanz
Photo: Depositphotos

What does it mean? 

Der Lichterglanz refers to “bright lights,” or a “blaze of lights.” This word is especially handy as a way to describe the beautiful illumination found during Advent–at Christmas markets, in churches, and decorated houses and apartment balconies. 

The glow of holiday lights in the streets of Erfurt. Photo: DPA. 

The word comes from Der Glanz, meaning “sparkle, radiance, brilliance,” and Das Licht, meaning “light, lamp, flame.” It is a lovely way to describe one of the most visually pleasing parts of Christmas in Germany. 

A house in Germany adorned for Christmas. Photo: DPA.

Another useful Christmas words related to this one is Die Lichterkette, or “string lights,” which are commonly used holiday decorations. Die Beleuchtung refers to “the lighting” and Die Außenbeleuchtung refers to “the outdoor lighting.” 

READ ALSO: Turn on the bright lights: Christmas houses shine throughout Germany

Der Lichterglanz at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

According to a recent survey in Germany, nearly seven out of 10 people will decorate their homes with Christmas lights this year. Another 79 percent of people said that they appreciate having lights up during the Advent season. 

Example Sentences: 

Ich mag den Lichterglanz. Für mich bedeutet das Weihnachtszeit. 

I like the glow of the lights. For me, that means Christmastime. 

Für mich ist der Lichterglanz die schönste Teil des Weihnachtsmarktes. 

For me, the glow of the lights is the best part of the Christmas markets. 

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German Christmas market closures ‘can’t be ruled out’: health expert

As Germany battles a fierce Covid wave, concerns are growing over events, with one health expert saying closures of the country's beloved Christmas markets can't be ruled out.

Revellers enjoy mulled wine at the 'Santa Pauli' Christmas market in Hamburg on November 15th.
Revellers enjoy mulled wine at the 'Santa Pauli' Christmas market in Hamburg on November 15th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marcus Brandt

Martina Wenker, president of the Lower Saxony Medical Association, said she believed Christmas markets may have to be cancelled if the Covid-19 situation gets worse in Germany. 

“Depending on the regional incidence situation, closures should not be ruled out in extreme cases,” Wenker told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

“We can’t stand by and celebrate while next door in the hospitals, planned operations have to be postponed frequently, corona patients are dying, and staff in practices and clinics are at their limits.”

Wenker said regional leaders allowed the opening of Christmas markets on the basis that the Covid situation was moderate.

“But if we reach higher levels of escalation, we will have to consider whether Christmas markets are still justifiable,” she said.

Germany on Tuesday reported 32,048 Covid infections within 24 hours and 265 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence increased to 312.4 Covid cases per 100,000 residents. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s Covid incidence tops 300 for first time

‘Maximum safety’

Bavarian state premier Markus Söder said on Monday that he wanted to ensure there was “maximum safety” around Christmas markets.

He said it will be among the topics discussed at the Covid crisis talks between the federal government and state leaders this Thursday. 

In general, Söder said mask requirements should remain at Christmas markets as well as distance rules and other protection measures. 

In an interview with broadcaster Bayern3, Söder explained that so far there is no legal framework for Bavaria to cancel Christmas markets. “At the moment, we cannot legally order it,” he said.

Some Christmas markets, which have recently opened to the public, are already enforcing strict rules such as excluding the unvaccinated from entry, or not serving alcohol to people unless they can show proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid. 



Christmas market – (der) Weihnachtsmarkt

Celebrate – feiern

Planned operations/procedures – geplante Eingriffe 

Postponed – verschoben

We’re aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.