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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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German New Year Tradition, Bleigießen'
It was a quirky way of telling the future. Melting heavy metal, dropping it in water and divining the future from shapes made. "Bleigießen" is a favorite New Year tradition in German speaking countries and more "eco-friendly" these days. Here's a version to try, with over 100 interpretations.

German Nut Cookie Recipes
For anyone who likes nuts here are two quick, simple and delicious cookie recipes. Classics from "Oma's kitchen" they are favorites found on any dish of German "Weihnachtsplaetzchen", Christmas Cookies, but are enjoyed all year round.

German Spaetzle Recipes
Spaetzle. What are they and how are they served. Documented back as far as the 11th Century, it is a traditional German pasta dish that played an important role in every day diets until potatoes were finally accepted in Germany. Try some popular regional Spaetzle favorites.

German Specialty, Roast Goose Recipe
"Koelner Martinsgans" is a delicious St. Martin's Goose specialty from Cologne. Roast Goose, Red Cabbage and Dumplings. Enjoyed from autumn onwards, not only for the Christmas, New Year's Eve and St. Martin's Day festivities, and here is a recipe with the traditional side dishes.

German Summer Drink Recipes
Summer in a glass. Cool drinks for the hot days of German summers range from all types of Fruit Bowle and Radler, to Apfelschorle and Cola-Schoppen. The names might be different but there's something for everyone, and they are ideal for sunless as well as sun filled days.

German Wedding Traditions
Germany's regions have many of their own, sometimes "unusual", wedding traditions; although May is the most popular month to marry throughout the country. Preparations and traditions surrounding a ceremony begin weeks before it takes place, and the festivities can last for days.

German Wine and Vineyards
Grapes arrived in Germany via the conquering Romans, and ancient traditions surrounding hillside vineyards with huge sundials and the annual harvest continue. But the German wine industry has changed, and is returning to producing high quality wines so Liebfraumilch is on the way out.

German Words Used in English
Where did that word originate? You might be surprised. "Gemuetlich" and "Kindergarten" are at home in English and German, as are many other words which traveled from Germany to international worlds of business, science, technology, history and culture, and there absorbed into English.

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter
Europe lay in rubble, and the winter of 1946/1947 was the coldest in living memory. Known in Germany as the time of "Weisser Tod", white death, and "Schwarzer Hunger", black hunger, hundreds of thousands died. Weihnachten was different that year, Spring and New Year held no promises.

Germany and its Storks
Storks are among Germany's favorite wildlife. Harbingers of Spring, bringer of babies, stars of myth, superstition and a "theme route", their return to nests on cliff-ledges, rooftops, chimneys and purpose-built towers, after a winter in warmer climates, is reason for celebration.

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