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BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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Bird's Wedding, 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 chaplain, are colorful "Birds".

Christmas Tree Apple, the Paradiesapfel
A red apple sits among the branches of some German Christmas Trees during Weihnachtszeit and until Epiphany. "Der Paradiesapfel" - The Paradise Apple. In some regions it was believed to be a symbol of "Hope" and "Promise" that something lost will be found, a goal or purpose revealed or achieved.

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.

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.

Three Kings Day, Epiphany in Germany
January 5 - Twelfth Night, and next day "Dreikönigstag" - Three Kings Day, Epiphany, are the final hours of the Advent and Weihnachten season. The ending of the Christmas celebrations in German speaking countries are a mixture of Tradition, Charity, Religion and Folklore.

Three Kings Day Cake Recipe
Dreikönigstag, Epiphany, brings an end to the Christmas season. In many of Germany's regions, and in German speaking countries, one of the day's traditions is a King's Cake with the crowning as "King for the Day" for whoever finds the Christkind figure, or dried white bean, in their portion.


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Bird's Wedding, Children's Tradition in Sorbia

Christmas Tree Apple, the Paradiesapfel

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter

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