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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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Spring in Germany
Fruehling, Spring in Germany. It might be windy, even cold, but tables and chairs begin to appear outside Cafe's and Beer Gardens; Festivals, Cultural Events, Flowers, outdoor Sports and age old springtime traditions take over the country. All it needs is that first sign of Spring.

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.

St. Nicholas in Germany
There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas, as his reputation as a secret benefactor and giver of gifts was the inspiration for "Sinterklaas". With St. Nicholas Eve on December 5, and December 6 St. Nicholas Day, "Nikolaus" is 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 Münsterländ, Nordrhein-Westfalen; eaten only during the Fast, and especially on Good Friday.

Summer Solstice and Midsummer in Germany
Many of the Summer Solstice and Midsummer Eve festivities in German speaking countries were mystic Pagan and pre-Christian festivals, and fire still plays a major 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 aristocratic, but penniless, refugee wandering Europe. Ending in Berlin during WWII.

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