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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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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 and New Year and Spring 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.

Germany and its Turkish German Communities
There was no history of immigration in Germany when the first Turkish ‘guest workers’ arrived as cheap labor to fuel the country’s ‘Economic Miracle’. Not expected to stay fifty years later Turkish Germans have powered German industry, settled in its cities and their influence is seen everywhere.

Germany's Beer Gardens
It wouldn't be summer in Germany without having enjoyed a cold beer in the shade of a chestnut tree. Originally a way of using the chestnut tree shaded areas covering 19th century underground Bavarian beer storage cellars, visits to Biergärten soon became a popular, even fashionable, pastime.

Germany's Ceremonial Mountain Cattle Drives
Almabtrieb, ceremonial mountain cattle drives, have been part of farming life in Europe's alpine regions for centuries. During the last days of summer, and beginning of autumn, processions of beautifully decorated cows create cow bell symphonies as they return to the valleys from alpine pastures.

Germany's Cheese Culture
From the North Sea to Allgaeu, Germany's "Foodie" favorite, Cheese, is produced countrywide in anything from small mountainside farms to industrial dairies. Hundreds of regional specialties and national varieties range from mild and buttery to spicy, highly flavored and less than fragrant.

Germany's Christmas Markets, Weihnachtsmärkte
Advent in Germany and the traditional "Weihnachtsmärkte" begin to open. Famous the world over the Christmas Markets, with their enchanting nostalgic atmosphere and delicious seasonal aromas, are an unforgettable part of the German holiday season.

Germany's Cult Beach Chair, the Strandkorb
The "Strandkorb" is often compared to a wicker wash basket, but it's a chair designed for an aristocrat with rheumatism, who did not want to give up her beach holidays in the windy north. After sheltering Germany's beach goers from wind, rain and sun for generations, it now has cult status.

Germany's Dried Fruit People, Zwetschgenmaennla
Prune Men, Prune People because Zwetschgenmaennla, Dried Plum Boys, were joined by Zwetschgenweibla, Dried Plum Girls, long ago, are traditional German handcrafts. Good Luck symbols given to celebrate everything from New Year to Weddings, here is the story and easy DIY "How To" guide.

Germany's Fairy Tale Road
By bicycle, car, or of course with seven league boots, the Fairy Tale Road in Germany is a magical journey in the footsteps of Brothers Grimm. Through medieval villages, unspoiled nature and stunning views to a castle filled world of fantasy, sagas, myths and legends.

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