Words excavations. Weihnachten meaning

Last Updated on May 15, 2024

Where does this word with such a difficult spelling come from?

In fact, his story is quite simple:

German festivals in December – January
Christmas cookies in Germany
Swabian-Alemannic carnival in Rottweil
SS or ß in German
Use: difference between benutzen and verwenden, nutzen, gebrauchen, anwenden
Difference between schlimm and schlecht

weihen (consecrate) + Nacht

It turns out Weihnachten – “consecrated nights”

Weihen is mainly used in a religious sense

die Kirche wurde im Jahre 1140 geweiht
jemanden zum Bischof weihen

but also figuratively (high style) – “to sacrifice, to dedicate (your life)”

er hat sein Leben Gott (der Kunst, dem Dienst an seinen Mitmenschen) geweiht

From the non-ecclesiastical derivatives of weihen is the most popular


– (from the meaning “to consecrate”) to inaugurate, solemnly open, mainly buildings

Die neue Bibliothek wird eingeweiht

– (from the meaning “to initiate, to let into your narrow (initially religious) circle”, that is, to reveal your secrets) to initiate:

in your plans
into secrets
circumstances of the case and so on

in seine Pläne einweihen
jemanden in die Geheimnisse einweihen

Other topics about words, synonyms and idioms in German – # vocabulary

Do you enjoy the site without cookies and maybe without ads? This means that I work for you at my own expense.
Perhaps you would like to support my work here.
Cookie settings change: round sign bottom left

Leave a comment

Email is not compulsory