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Peasant family at dinner (GDR, 1952)

A dinner (also "Last Supper", " Evening Meal " or "Abendbrot", in Southern Germany and German-speaking Switzerland also "Dinner", "Znacht" or "Vesper", in Eastern Austria also "Nachtmahl" or "Vesper") is one in the later hours of the day occupied meal . of any kind is a rather festive dinner - mainly in hotel industry - as a supper designated next as Diner (from the French .: Dîner ), more rarely, as dinner (from the English). The timing and amount of dinner are determined by cultural customs - including religious dietary laws and food taboos -, individual habits and medical circumstances that are subjects of nutritional sociology.


On working days of changes are in Germany in the course of working life , the lunches occupied by more and more people outside the home. Nevertheless, in multi-person or family households, meals together are still of great importance, so that dinner has become “the family meal par excellence”. In more than half of German households with two working partners, people eat together in the evening. Sixty percent of Germans over the age of 12 eat dinner between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Eighty percent of Germans maintain the tradition of having dinner together, especially on weekends. Around half have a cold supper in the evening, the other half a warm one. The proportion of those who have a hot dinner is higher among employed people. It is typically consumed with family or friends; a third of the population watch television.

In the 13th nutrition report of the German Nutrition Society , communal catering in various facilities was examined. In 1.5% of the day-care centers , dinner is offered in addition to the other meals. In the inpatient senior care facilities, 86.9% of the residents have a period of one hour for dinner. It depends on the respective institution whether the dinner is provided by the nursing staff or by other workers.

Representative dinner

A dinner that is hosted as a formal banquet by the state on a special occasion or in honor of a guest and with a formal dress code is a state banquet . It goes back to the feast at court. The Matthiae meal of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg is considered "the oldest still celebrated feast in the world" and has its origins in the convivium of an honorable council of 1356.

Nutritional aspects

From a nutritional point of view, there is no recommendation for the rule, which is often heard especially in the German-speaking area and is associated with Protestantism, to eat less in the evening ("breakfast like an emperor, lunch like a prince, dinner like a beggar"). Studies that looked for a connection between the size of dinner and body weight have so far not come to any clear results. The decisive factor for body weight is less the time of meals than the energy that is supplied to the body.

In the literature

The theme of dinner has often been used in fiction, for example in the novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf , which deals with the preparations for a dinner, or in the novel Felling Wood. An excitement from Thomas Bernhard , who describes an "artistic dinner" at midnight in Viennese society.


Web links

Commons : Dinner  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Dinner  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Cf. Nutrition Report 2004 of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), Chapter 1: Nutrition situation in Germany , Bonn, quoted in: Teresa Johanna Bless: Developments and trends in German food culture and their effects on gastronomy . Diplom.de , Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8366-0641-7 , pp. 20–22 (online resource; also diploma thesis at the Weihenstephan University of Applied Sciences, Triesdorf department , 2007).
  2. DGE.de: 21 minutes more time to eat: Results of the nutrition report 2004. Accessed on February 3, 2019 .
  3. Food culture. In: Brockhaus Encyclopedia . As of December 19, 2014.
  4. Marktforschung.de: GfK study "Eating and drinking in Germany": Salty food in front of the TV, sweet things in front of the PC. Retrieved October 19, 2018 .
  5. a b Thea Dorn, Richard Wagner: The German soul . Albrecht Knaus Verlag, 2012, ISBN 978-3-641-06814-1 , p. 9–11 ( google.de [accessed on February 16, 2017]).
  6. Pre-publication Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 . In: German Society for Nutrition (Ed.): 13th DGE nutrition report . German Nutrition Society, Bonn 2016, p. V19, V81, V95 ( dge-medienservice.de [PDF]).
  7. Udo Pini: The Gourmet Handbook. 3. Edition. Könemann , Cologne 2000, ISBN 3-8290-1443-0 , pp. 65f.
  8. The Supper of St. Matthias. Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, accessed on February 16, 2016 : “ Hamburgers have been celebrating the Matthiae meal with their guests since 1356. This makes it the world's oldest feast that is still celebrated today. A historical arrangement stipulates that the Matthiae meal only takes place "when times allow it". After 1724, the celebration was suspended for over 200 years, but the reasons for this break are unknown. "
  9. Dagmar Seifert: In June 1350 death lands on the Elbe. In: Der Hamburger (issue 04). The Hamburger Verlag-Die Stadtmedienmanufaktur GmbH, 2009, accessed on February 22, 2016 : “ In February 1356, Hamburg celebrated the Matthiae meal for the first time, a meal at the expense of the council, which has since become the oldest still celebrated feast in the world because it takes place - apart from a »small«, cost-related break between 1724 and 1956 - it has taken place year after year until today. "
  10. German Nutrition Society: Does eating late make you fat? In: DGEInfo . No. 3 , 2006 ( dge.de [accessed on February 16, 2017]).