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

Birthdays in Germany
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
Karneval in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away evil spirits of winter. Now Thursday before Ash Wednesday is Weiberfastnacht in the Rhineland, where Carnival "Wieber"/women cause turmoil, take over City Halls, and no necktie is safe from their jumbo scissors.

Carnival Season in Germany
Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasching, a German Mardi Gras. Different regions, different names and traditions. "The Fifth and Foolish Season" takes over city streets with "crazy, zany, Kuesschen, Kater und Krapfen". Not enjoyed by everyone so Karnevalsmuffel, Carnival Grouchers, head for the hills.

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.

Castle Road, Germany
There are over 5,000 castles in Germany, and many of them are on the Castle Road. 745 miles of stunning landscapes, valleys, forests and rivers, filled with legacies of the past, medieval towns and villages and castles, castles and more castles.

Celebrating New Year's Eve in Germany
New Year's Eve in Germany. German New Year's Traditions: old, new, some based on customs from a pagan past and all designed to ensure the coming year will have the best chance possible of becoming a vintage one. It is "Silvester", and here is how it is celebrated in Germany.

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Fun Facts - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Bird's Wedding, Children's Tradition in Sorbia

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter

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