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g German Culture Site

BellaOnline's German Culture Editor

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 E D I T O R   P I C K S  

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. German Carnival...Karneval, Fasching and Fastnacht
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.

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

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

4. Bird's Wedding, a Children's Tradition in Sorbia
The unique "Bird's Wedding" is a January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany. Dressed in miniature wedding costumes, the bride is a Magpie, her groom a Raven, or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird, and everyone from guests to the chaplain are colorful "Birds".

5. Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas
Groundhog Day - a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog etc., but its origins are a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, "Candlemas" a Christian festival, the weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.

6. Lent, Monks and their Maultaschen Recipe
Special beers and secret recipes made sure a Lenten Fast was never all about deprivation for German monks, but their traditions, and Fast breaking recipes, soon spread outside monastery walls. Including "Herrgottsbescheisserle" those "Little Cheaters of the Lord", an over sized ravioli.

7. The Berlin Diaries, 1940-1945, Book Review
Life, revolutions and war changed Marie (Missie) Vassiltchikov’s predestined comfortable and privileged future, from that of a beautiful, spirited "White Russian" princess in Tsarist Russia to aristocratic, but penniless, refugee wandering Europe. Ending in Berlin during WWII.

8. Beef Rouladen, German Braised Beef Rolls Recipe
Rinderrouladen, "Beef Rouladen"; thin slices of beef rolled up around a seasoned onion and bacon filling, served in a wine sauce. A delicious German classic, once saved for celebrations or Sundays, now it's a traditional "cold weather" dinner choice.

9. Monk's Chicken, 13th Century Recipe for Lent
Medieval monks really knew how to twist the rule book during Fasts like Lent, and this 13th century recipe, with chicken breasts rather than the "Fish not Fowl" Beaver Tails used in the Middle Ages, is a delicious example.

10. Germany Fun Facts
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.



Be sure to visit the German Culture Archives for all the articles!



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Bird's Wedding, a Children's Tradition in Sorbia

Streetwise German - Some German Idioms

Carnival in Cologne, Women's Thursday

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