German Culture

Francine A. McKenna

German Gingerbread Spice, Lebkuchengewürze, is one of those store cupboard staples that can be used throughout the year. For everything from flavoring pumpkin pie, hot chocolate or yogurt with apple, to the gingerbread for those Christmas witches cottages and cookies, and of course hearts.

Francine A. McKenna

German Lebkuchen is a special German gingerbread, and whatever you create with this recipe will be delicious. Anything from spicy ginger cookies, Christmas decorations or aromatic Lanterns, Oktoberfest or Valentine's Day Hearts, Witches' Cottages, Gingerbread Men or Halloween Ghosts.

Francine A. McKenna

There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas, as his reputation as secret benefactor, and giver of gifts, was the inspiration for Sinterklaas. Santa Claus. Nicholas Eve on December 5 and December 6 Nicholas Day make "Nikolaus" a magical time in many regions of Europe.

Francine A. McKenna

December 1...it's time to open the Advent Calendar and discover the first of its twenty-four surprises. For generations an Adventskalender has been one of Germany's much loved Weihnachtszeit holiday traditions, and it begins the countdown to Heiligabend, Christmas Eve.

Francine A. McKenna

They don't decorate doors in Germany but sit on flat surfaces, or hang from a height...their four candles surrounded by evergreen foliage. One candle for each of Advent's four weeks. "Die Adventskränze", Advent Wreath, one of many traditions that are a part of Christmas in Germany.

Francine A. McKenna

Is a Weckmann the same as a Stutenkerl or Nikolaus? Yes the same "Bread Man" but a different name, and no November St. Martin's Day, or December St. Nicholas, in German speaking countries is complete without the traditional sweet yeast dough holiday specialty. Here is its story and a recipe.