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BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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Facts and Traditions

Life and living in Germany, some of the country´s facts, figures, personalities, and entrenched traditions, ranging from informative and useful to fun and "now who would have thought that?"

Father's Day in Germany star
German Father's Day can be a bit of a surprise. It is a "Movable Feast" holiday, linked to Ascension Day so changing each year, but the variable date is not the only way it differs from "Father's Day" in other countries.

Forest Schools, Germany's Waldkindergarten star
Waldkindergärten are 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 the 19th century Germany, forest schools are favorites with children and parents, so there are long waiting lists.

Gardening by the Moon in Germany star
Often thought of as a New Age trend or old superstition Moon Gardening is science based, with evidence suggesting a connection between the sky's energy and that of earth. In Germany the system has been followed for generations with 'Moon Gardening' calendars a big hit as Christmas gifts.

German Bread - Fast Facts star
With over 3050 registered varieties, Germany is a "Bread Paradise". Almost all available types of grain are used from wheat, rye, barley and oats to millet, corn, rice and potato starch, while bread rolls go under so many different names in the regions it is easier to just point.

German Gummi Bears, the Cult Candy star
Gummy Bears began life in 1922, as fruit gummi Dancing Bears in a small German confectionery company; based on dancing bears and a Teddy Bear. Today they are a cult candy, and not only for children but also "grown-ups", used for couture dresses, party "Hedgehogs" and Vodka cocktails.

German Inventions in Everyday Use star
Germany's inventors and scientists, past and present, helped build the country's reputation for invention and technology, with many of the items now used in homes worldwide, including coffee filters and toothpaste, not created in laboratories, but German kitchens, attics and workshops.

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

Germany - Fast Facts star
Fast facts for Germany, the country and its people. Richly diverse, the world's fifth largest economy, filled with castles, medieval villages, unspoilt nature, mountain ranges, stunning scenery, culture of every variety, and a complex history.

Germany Fun Facts star
There's a Chancellor Angela Merkel Barbie Doll, German affection for red Hungarian paprika means it's added to everything from potato chips and meat to sauces, in Bavaria beer is officially 'food', and phone calls are answered only by the surname, never a greeting. Some fun facts.

Germany's Garden Gnomes, Gartenzwerge star
Garden gnomes belong to Germany like Bratwurst and Fußball-soccer. Gartenzwerge disappear in the fall, re-appear with spring and spend summer protecting German gardens; kitsch, folklore, good luck symbols and for a protector about as far from frightening as it is possible to be.

Germany, its Neighbours and a New Image star
From its central position at the heart of today’s European Union Germany lives in peace and harmony with its neighbours, however this was not always the case. What image does modern Germany have in the eyes of its neighbours? A cross section of Europeans were asked with interesting results.

Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas star
February 2nd is Groundhog Day, an annual tradition with roots which lie in a Christian festival, age old European and German superstitions about hedgehogs, the weather, and pagan celebrations bound to the cycles of nature.

Munich Oktoberfest - Fast Facts star
Albert Einstein worked there as an electrician, an intoxicated dachshund "came to" in Lost and Found, electricity used would give a home for four 52 years of power, and German emigrants have begun versions all over the world...but "Oktoberfest" began in Munich over 200 years ago.

Oktoberfest in Munich – Fun Facts star
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.

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Past Issues

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German Bread - Fast Facts

Germany's Ceremonial Mountain Cattle Drives

Oktoberfest in Munich – Fun Facts

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