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BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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 F E A T U R E   A R C H I V E  

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Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day in Germany
Germany's castles might have real "Ghosts", and Witches, "Forest Goddesses" in pagan times, have returned. But centuries old "All Saints" and "All Souls" Day traditions are as much a part of the season's culture as ever; despite recently introduced "Halloween" and its plastic skeletons.

Pumpkin Potato Reibekuchen Recipe
Pumpkin left and no idea what to do with it? Pumpkin Potato Fritters, traditional German "Rieberkuchen" with pumpkin added, uses any extra pumpkin but also becomes a family favorite without it. Or if you simply want a different autumn potato recipe how about Apple Potato Pancakes?

Weckmann, A Bread Man Recipe
St. Martin's Day and St. Nicholas in German speaking countries would not be complete without a "Stutenkerl", "Nikolaus" or "Weckmann". Same "Bread Man", different name depending on the region. A traditional sweet yeast dough holiday specialty, here is its "story" and a recipe.

St. Martin's and Halloween Children's Lanterns
Making and carrying lanterns are something of a favorite pastime for children in Germany, and these safer versions of lamps are fun to make as well as practical for everything from Halloween, St. Martins and New Year, to those "any occasion will do" celebrations.

St. Martin's Day in Germany, November 11
Germany's children bring light and music to Sankt Martinstag. St. Martin's Day. Candle lit lantern processions, singing, a "Weckmann" enjoyed by an open fire. Beginning with church services in his honor the day often ends with "Martinsgans" - Martin's Goose with all the trimmings.

Germany's Garden Gnomes, Gartenzwerge
Gartenzwerg are another of Germany's many "inventions". They are the Gnomes who disappear in the fall, re-appear with spring and spend summer protecting German gardens. Kitsch, folklore, good luck symbols, and for a protector about as far from frightening as it is possible to be.

Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th Century Philosopher
Friedrich Nietzsche, "One of the most dangerous minds of the 19th Century". Often used to describe the German philosopher whose timeless quotations have made him a present day sage, and a complex man lay behind quotes such as "That which does not kill us makes us stronger".

Friedrich Nietzsche Philosopher, Quotations
German born Friedrich Nietzsche's quotations were written for the 19th century, a completely different world. Described as "One of the most dangerous minds of the 19th Century", his words are often as relevant now as they were then.

Forest Schools, Germany's Waldkindergarten
Waldkindergarten, nature's preschool for children where class room walls are replaced by fresh air, the natural world and exploration. A system of education that began in 19th century Germany, and has become increasingly popular throughout the country where schools have long waiting lists.

East Berlin, a Pre-Unification Memory
Crossing to East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie could be a rather complicated experience in pre-unified Germany. Especially if there was only one person but two accompanying passports together with a large camera carry bag that had been loaned out and returned filled with foreign currency.

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