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Here are the Editor's Picks articles for the German Culture Site! These are the top ten articles that your German Culture Editor feels are most important for you to read. Enjoy!
1. Advent Wreaths and Advent in Germany
Advent Wreaths don't decorate doors in Germany, they sit on flat surfaces or hang from a height and have four candles surrounded by evergreen foliage. One for each of Advent's four weeks. 'Die Adventskraenze', just one of many traditions that are a part of Christmas in Germany.
2. Advent Calendars, a Countdown to Christmas
December 1 signals time to discover the first of the Advent Calendar's twenty-four surprises and it begins the countdown to Heiligabend, Christmas Eve. In Germany an Adventskalender has been a much loved Weihnachtszeit holiday tradition for generations.
3. Christmas in Germany
Christmas Eve, "Heiligabend", is not only the most eagerly awaited but also the most significant of Germany's Twelve Days of Christmas. "Weihnachten" is filled with celebrations and age old customs, and a rich and colorful mix of the religious, secular, traditional, folk and food.
4. German Christmas Cookie Recipes
Vanilla Crescents and Cinnamon Stars are two of the most popular Weihnachts plaetzen. The traditional 'Holiday Cookies', or Weihnachtskekse, which are a central and indispensable part of a Christmas in Germany.
5. Germany's Christmas Markets
Advent in Germany and the traditional "Weihnachtsmaerkte" begin to open. Famous the world over the Christmas Markets, with their enchanting nostalgic atmosphere and delicious seasonal aromas, are an intrinsic and unforgettable part of the German holiday season.
6. St. Martin's Day in Germany, November 11
Germany's children bring light and music to Sankt Martinstag. St. Martin's Day. Candle lit lantern processions, singing, a "Weckmann" enjoyed by an open fire. Beginning with church services in his honor the day often ends with "Martinsgans" - Martin's Goose with all the trimmings.
7. St. Nicholas in Germany
Without St. Nicholas there would be no Santa Claus. His reputation as a secret benefactor and giver of gifts made him the inspiration for Sinterklaas, and with St. Nicholas Eve on December 5, and December 6 St. Nicholas Day, "Nikolaus" is still a magical time in many areas of Germany.
8. Traditional Christmas Cookie Recipes
Baking Weihnachts Plaetzchen is another of Germany’s centuries old traditional Christmas customs. Holiday cookie recipes vary from region to region and family to family, but during Advent, even amongst those who do not follow the Christian faith, few homes will be without their Weihnachtskekse.
9. Weckmann, A Bread Man Recipe
In German speaking countries no St. Martin's Day or St. Nicholas celebration would be complete without a traditional sweet yeast dough "Bread Man". It is a holiday specialty called a Stutenkerl, Nikolaus or Weckmann depending on the region and here is its "story" with a recipe.
10. Gluehwein and More - Holiday Drink Recipes
Cold weather in Germany means traditional warming winter drinks, but not only for Weihnachten and New Year with its timeless combination of "Gluehwein" and "Christmas/New Year". From Gluehwein and Punch to Pharisaeer there are so many, and here are a few to try, with the Pharisaeer legend.
Be sure to visit the German Culture Archives for all the articles!
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