First graders in Germany are lucky, because their first school day begins with large, colorful, gift and candy filled School Cones. A custom that began in the early 19th century, Schultüten are as popular as ever, and could be a fun idea and new tradition for your own family and friends.
It had taken 600 years, but in August 1880 Cologne Cathedral was completed. Construction began when the city was part of the Holy Roman Empire, but finished in a newly United Germany, with Wilhelm I as its first Emperor. A stunning building it is one of the country's most important monuments.
German Beer Gardens and Oktoberfest would not be the same without "Steckerlfisch". A Bavarian specialty for anyone who likes fish and has hunger pangs, it's a well seasoned grilled fish, complete with head, tail and a stick running through it. And ideal for a BBQ.
Waldkindergärten, nature's preschool for children where, whatever the weather, classroom walls are replaced by fresh air, the natural world and exploration. Based on a system from 19th century Germany, forest schools are favorites with children and parents, so waiting lists are long.
Federweisser looks like grape soda but is a delicious young wine with a powerful KICK, and short end of summer season. Traditional harvest time accompaniments are Zwiebelkuchen and Treberwurst, a rich onion pie and sausages marinated with grapes then fried, enjoyed at any time of the year.
First day of school is a big celebration for first graders in Germany. Accompanied by the whole family for welcoming speeches, singing and photo calls, Schultüte/School Cone held close, it's time for their new "Lebensphase" to begin. Link to instructions to make your own Schultüte.