German Culture

Francine McKenna-Klein

German Unity Day - Tag der Deutschen Einheit, commemorates October 3, 1990, the day the German Democratic Republic became part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Following the first peaceful revolution in history. From 1949 to 1989 there had been two Germanys, East and West. A look back...

Francine McKenna-Klein

Lebkuchen Hearts can be found at most spring and summer festivals, as well as Weihnachtsmärkte, but at Munich's Oktoberfest the mottoes on many heart shaped gingerbread cookies are in Bairisch, dialect. Traditions, mottoes and translations for those unmissable accompaniments to Oktoberfest beer.

Francine McKenna-Klein

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, every change of season is makeover time for Germany's flower boxes. A bizarre mixture sometimes, the colorful plant filled containers are everywhere, a wonderful sight on door stoops, window ledges, trailing from apartment balconies and down ancient farmhouse walls.

Francine McKenna-Klein

It is said German castles have real Ghosts, and Witches, Forest Goddesses of pagan times, have never really gone away, but the centuries old All Saints and All Souls Day traditions are as much a part of the season's culture as ever. Despite recently introduced Halloween with its plastic skeletons.

Francine McKenna-Klein

No November St. Martin's Day, or St. Nicholas, in German speaking countries would be complete without a "Stutenkerl", "Nikolaus" or "Weckmann". Same "Bread Man" just a different name depending on the region. A traditional sweet yeast dough holiday specialty, here is its story and a recipe.

Francine McKenna-Klein

Germany's children bring light and music to Sankt Martinstag, St. Martin's Day. Candle lit lantern processions, singing, a "Weckmann" enjoyed by an open fire. Beginning with church services in his honor often the day ends with "Martinsgans" - But who was St. Martin?