German Culture

Francine McKenna-Klein

Oktoberfest in Munich: That super sized version of a traditional Bavarian harvest festival, where the mottoes on many of the heart shaped gingerbread cookies are in Bairisch, the local dialect. Some traditions, mottoes and "translations" for those unmissable accompaniments to Oktoberfest beer.

Francine McKenna-Klein

It's "Oktoberfest" although most of it takes place in September, an "Angel" on a hiatus from heaven attends every year, and one Munich Mayor opened it shouting "I'zapt os" instead of "O'zapft is", (it's tapped)...before any beer was consumed.

Francine McKenna-Klein

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.

Francine McKenna-Klein

Beer has its own day "Tag des Deutschen Bieres", as flüssiges Brot/liquid bread it is a classified as "food" in Bavaria, and even the smallest region has a brewery...Germany's beer has its own culture. And when ordering your beer don't forget to raise one thumb, it is important.

Francine McKenna-Klein

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.

Francine McKenna-Klein

It opens in September not October, and began in fields outside Munich as a horse race honoring a royal wedding. More than 200 years later those fields are part of Munich, but Oktoberfest, the world's largest Volksfest, is still a festival of Bavarian exuberance, draft beer, food and tradition.