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g German Culture Site

BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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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.

St. Nicholas in Germany
There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas. His reputation as a secret benefactor and giver of gifts was the inspiration for Sinterklaas, and with St. Nicholas Eve on December 5 and December 6 St. Nicholas Day, "Nikolaus" is still a magical time in many regions of Europe.

Stolpersteine, Stones of Remembrance
Stolpersteine, Stumbling stones, are a memorial built one stone at a time. Small 'memory' blocks embedded in sidewalks in front of homes where victims of Nazism last lived freely, simple memorials bearing their names and documenting their lives with the barest of details.

Strammer Max, Germany's
Strammer Max has been one of Germany's most popular "anytime" meals for generations. Quick, easy and delicious it's an open faced sandwich combination that has regional variations, but always includes an egg. Here are some recipes and all are worth trying.

Streetwise German - Some of Germany's Idioms
"Alles in gruenen Bereich" - Everything in the green area, does not mean an area/building in varied shades of green but "Everything is under control/OK". Heard every day it is one of many commonly used German expressions that sound bizarre, are fun to know, and have shaped the language.

Struwen, Germany's Fried Yeast Pancake Recipe
Originally an Easter Tradition, delicious and easy to make "Struwen" are fried yeast pancakes. Enjoyed throughout the year now, but for generations Struwen were a Lenten Fast tradition in Muensterland, Nordrhein-Westphalia; eaten only during the Fast, and especially on Good Friday.

Summer Solstice and Midsummer in Germany
Many of Germany's Sommer-Sonnenwende, Summer Solstice, and Johannisnacht, Midsummer Night, festivities were mystical Pagan and pre-Christian festivals; and fire still has an important role in celebrating the triumph of sun and light over cold and darkness.

The Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, Book Review
Life, revolutions and war changed Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov’s predestined comfortable and privileged future, from that of a beautiful, spirited "White Russian" princess in Tsarist Russia to an aristocratic, but penniless, refugee wandering Europe. Ending in Berlin during WWII.

The Berlin Wall, Germany Remembers
East Germany began building a wall across Berlin on August 13th 1961, and while it existed the Berlin Wall defined the cold war and division of Europe. November 1989 the exits were opened by government decree, and families who had been separated for decades could be reunited.

The Bird's Wedding, Vogelhochzeit - SorbTradition
It's an ancient January tradition in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany. Children in Sorbian costumes: Bridal Couple, the bride a Magpie, her groom a Raven, or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird. Wedding guests, coachman, chaplain, all different "birds". A folk custom with no sign of dying out.

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