German Culture

Francine A. McKenna

Germany is a "Bread Paradise". With over 3050 registered varieties, almost all available types of grain 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 various regions it is easier just to point.

Francine A. McKenna

The Life, Times and Music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He made his first performance tours at six, wrote a first symphony at eight, kissed an Empress, was an inspired billiards player, spoke 15 languages, a popular marzipan candy is named after him...and there's more.

Francine A. McKenna

It is a unique January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany. The Bird's Wedding, wearing a miniature traditional wedding costume, the bride is a Magpie and "marries" her groom a Raven, or bride a Thrush and groom Blackbird, with the guests and chaplain also all "Birds".

Francine A. McKenna

Europe lay in rubble, and the winter of 1946/1947 was the coldest in living memory. Known in Germany as the time of "Weisser Tod", white death, and "Schwarzer Hunger", black hunger, hundreds of thousands died. Weihnachten was different that year, New Year and Spring held no promises.

Francine A. McKenna

Carnival in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away winter's evil spirits. Now Karneval Wieber (women) cause havoc on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Weiberfastnacht in Rhineland, taking over City Halls and leaving no necktie safe from their jumbo scissors.

Francine A. McKenna

With seven league boots, or even by bicycle or car, Germany's Fairy Tale Road is a fascinating journey in the footsteps of Brothers Grimm. Through medieval villages and unspoiled nature, to a castle filled world of fantasy, sagas and legends, wicked stepmothers and evil witches.

Francine A. McKenna

Executed for treason at 21, Sophie Scholl was one of many Germans who did not support the Nazi regime. Together with her brother Hans and friend Christoph Probst, guillotined in February 1943, as members of The White Rose, a non-violent resistance group of Munich University students.

Francine A. McKenna

Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasching, Germany's Mardi Gras. Different regions, different names and traditions as "The Fifth and Foolish Season" takes over city streets, with "Crazy, Zany, Küsschen, Kater und Krapfen". Not enjoyed by everyone, so Karnevalsmuffel, Carnival Grouchers, head for the hills.

Francine A. McKenna

A festival is not a festival in Germany unless traditional food is involved , and for Karneval, Mardi Gras, that is Faschingskrapfen, Carnival Jelly Donuts. Its story and recipe for those Berliner, Pfannkuchen, Fastnachtskrapfen - same thing, different names depending on the region.

Francine A. McKenna

Groundhog Day, a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog and his friends, its origins a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, the Christian festival Candlemas, seasonal weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.