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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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Beethoven's 9th Symphony and The Ode to Joy
The European Union's Anthem 'The Ode to Joy' is Beethoven's emotive and idealistic choral finale from the 4th movement of his 9th symphony. First performances were thought revolutionary, but now it is heard in everything from Die Hard and Japanese New Year celebrations to Olympic openings.

Berthold Beitz, Humanitarian and Philanthropist
One of Israel's Righteous Among the Nations, German Industrialist Berthold Beitz saved the lives of hundreds of Jewish adults and children during the Holocaust, and was a main contributor in the rebuilding of Germany's post-war reputation.

Bird's Wedding, a Children's Tradition in Sorbia
The unique "Bird's Wedding" is a January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany. Dressed in miniature wedding costumes, the bride is a Magpie, her groom a Raven, or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird, and everyone from guests to the chaplain are colorful "Birds".

Birthdays in Germany, the Do's and Don'ts
Don't whatever you do wish a German Geburtstagkind, Birthday Child, Happy Birthday until the actual day. One minute after midnight yes, but not a second before. While someone celebrating their 90th needs a very large cake, perhaps even a fire extinguisher. Why? It's "Birthdays" the German way.

Black Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Elderberry syrup is an "all rounder". Fun to forage, harvest and easily made in the fall it is a great 'mixer' for summer and winter drinks, delicious with savory and sweet dishes, and in Germany a popular natural remedy for all types of ailments.

Carnival in Cologne, Women's Thursday
Carnival in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away winter's evil spirits. Now the Thursday before Ash Wednesday is Weiberfastnacht in Rhineland, when Karneval Wieber (women) cause havoc, take over City Halls and leave no necktie safe from their jumbo scissors.

Carnival Jelly Donut, a Faschingskrapfen Recipe
Unless traditional food is involved a festival is not a festival in Germany, and for Karneval, Mardi Gras, that food is Faschingskrapfen, Carnival Jelly Donuts. Its story and recipe for those Berliner, Pfannkuchen, Fastnachtskrapfen - same thing, different names depending on the region.

Caroline Herschel – German Astronomer
Caroline Herschel, a Cinderella who became a pioneering astronomer. Sister of astronomer William Herschel she cataloged stars and nebula, was the first woman to discover a comet, first woman astronomer to earn a salary and be awarded honors.

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Germany
German New Year's Traditions can be old, new, based on customs from a pagan past, but all are designed to ensure the coming year has the best chance possible of becoming a vintage one. Known as "Silvester", this is how a New Year is celebrated in Germany.

Cheese Hedgehog, a Party Snack Recipe
Der Käseigel, a Cheese Hedgehog, the "Retro" party snackc from Germany. The ultimate cold buffet food during the 1960's and 1970's, it's enjoying a popular and widespread renaissance, and is now just as likely to be found accompanying a summer BBQ as a snack during winter months.

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