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Halloween, All Saints and All Souls Day in Germany
Germany's castles might have real "Ghosts", and Witches, the "Forest Goddesses" of 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.
German Potato Pancakes, Rosti/Reibekuchen Recipe
"Rieberkuchen", a German favorite as a snack or a side, and this is an easy recipe that can also be used for Pumpkin Potato Fritters. Traditional Rieberkuchen adding leftover pumpkin. Or if you simply want a different potato recipe how about trying the Apple Potato Fritter recipe?
Weckmann, A Bread Man Recipe
No November St. Martin's Day, or St. Nicholas, in German speaking countries would be complete without a "Stutenkerl", "Nikolaus" or "Weckmann". Same "Bread Man" just a different name depending on the region. A traditional sweet yeast dough holiday specialty, here is its story and a recipe.
Easy, Fun and Safe Children's Lanterns
In Germany making and carrying lanterns are a favorite pastime for children, and these safer versions of lamps are fun and easy to make, as well as practical for everything from Summer BBQ's, 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 often the day ends with "Martinsgans" - But who was St. Martin?
Germany's Garden Gnomes, Gartenzwerge
Garden gnomes belong to Germany like Bratwurst and Fußball-soccer. Gartenzwerge 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 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
Waldkindergärten are nature's preschool for children where, whatever the weather, classroom walls are replaced by fresh air, the natural world and exploration. Based on a system from the 19th century Germany, forest schools are favorites with children and parents, so there are long waiting lists.
East Berlin, a Pre-Unification Memory
Crossing to East Berlin through Checkpoint Charlie could be complicated in pre-unified Germany. Especially if there was only one person who carried two passports, one for a child, together with large camera carry bag loaned out but unknowingly returned with side pockets filled with foreign currency.
German Wine and Vineyards
Grapes arrived in Germany with the conquering Romans, and the ancient hillside vineyard traditions, and annual harvest celebrations, still continue. But the German wine industry has changed, it has returned to producing high quality wines so sweet Liebfraumilch is on the way out.
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