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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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Germany's Window Boxes and Balcony Gardens
Every change of season means "Makeover Time" for Germany's window boxes. Carefully tended, colorful plant filled containers are everywhere. A bizarre mixture sometimes but wonderful sight on door stoops, window ledges, trailing down from apartment balconies and walls of ancient farm houses.

Germany, Cuckoo Clocks And The Black Forest
Cuckoo Clocks originated in Germany's Black Forest, not Switzerland; an invention using the time, and profiting from, snow filled winter months. Schwarzwald, filled with tradition, unspoiled scenery, Roman health resorts and a fascinating Clock Route.

Germany, Energy and Change After Fukushima
Japan's tsunami's effect on nuclear reactors brought about what was supposedly a partial and temporary nuclear shutdown in Germany, affecting its 'green' energy policy. Temporary it wasn't, and the long term outlook for consumers and the economy is anyone's guess, so far it is not positive.

Germany, its Neighbours and a New Image
From its central position at the heart of today’s European Union Germany lives in peace and harmony with its neighbours, however this was not always the case. What image does modern Germany have in the eyes of its neighbours? A cross section of Europeans were asked with interesting results.

Gluehwein and More - Holiday Drink Recipes
Cold weather means traditional warming winter drinks in Germany, but not only for Weihnachten and New Year with its timeless combination of "Gluehwein" and "Christmas/New Year". There are many and here are a few to try, from Gluehwein and Punch to Pharisaeer, with the Pharisaeer story.

Green Germany, and a Non Nuclear Future
The original plan was that German nuclear power plants were to be phased out by 2021, but the situation changed with not all Germans in agreement. However a nuclear reactor accident in Japan not only restored the status quo, the date for phasing out nuclear power was moved forward.

Grilled Fish on a Stick,
German Beer Gardens and Oktoberfest would not be the same without "Steckerlfisch". A Bavarian specialty for anyone who likes fish and has hunger pangs, it's a well seasoned grilled fish, complete with head, tail and a stick running through it. And ideal for a BBQ.

Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas
Groundhog Day - a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog etc., but its origins are in a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, "Candlemas" a Christian festival, the weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.

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 the recently introduced "Halloween" with its plastic skeletons.

Herbs and Natural Medicine in Germany
A cough? Then out come onions, garlic and honey, for arthritis - chili. For centuries German speaking countries have used herbs, plants, vegetables and nature to make folk medicines, effective remedies. In combination with conventional equivalents, natural medicine is as relevant today as ever.

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