German Culture

Francine McKenna-Klein

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.

Francine McKenna-Klein

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.

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

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

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.

Francine McKenna-Klein

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.