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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. Authentic German Lebkuchen Recipe
German Lebkuchen, that special German gingerbread, whatever you create with this recipe it will always be delicious. Anything from spicy ginger cookies, Oktoberfest or Valentine's Day Hearts, Witches' Cottages and Gingerbread Men, to Halloween Ghosts, Christmas decorations or aromatic Lanterns.
2. 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" - filled with celebration and age old customs. A rich and colorful mix of the religious, secular, traditional, folk and...food.
3. Advent Wreaths and an 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 Adventskränze", are just one of many traditions that are a part of Christmas in Germany.
4. Germany's Dried Fruit People, Zwetschgenmaennla
Prune Men, Prune People because Zwetschgenmaennla, Dried Plum Boys, were joined by Zwetschgenweibla, Dried Plum Girls, long ago, are traditional German handcrafts. Good Luck symbols given to celebrate everything from New Year to Weddings, here is the story and easy DIY "How To" guide.
5. St. Nicholas in Germany
There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas, as his reputation as a secret benefactor and giver of gifts was the inspiration for "Sinterklaas". With St. Nicholas Eve on December 5, and December 6 St. Nicholas Day, "Nikolaus" is a magical time in many regions of Europe.
6. Feuerzangenbowle, a Traditional Hot Punch Recipe
Germany’s Feuerzangenbowle, Flaming Fire Tongs Punch, made with red wine, rum and sugar flambé, is not only a traditional Christmas and New Year’s drink but a favorite throughout the winter and holiday season.
7. Advent Calendars, a Countdown to Christmas
December 1...time to open one of the doors of the Advent Calendar, and discover the first of its twenty-four surprises. The countdown to Heiligabend, Christmas Eve, has begun and for generations an Adventskalender has been one of Germany's much loved Weihnachtszeit holiday traditions.
8. Germany's Christmas Markets, Weihnachtsmärkte
Advent in Germany and the traditional "Weihnachtsmärkte" begin to open. Famous the world over the Christmas Markets, with their enchanting nostalgic atmosphere and delicious seasonal aromas, are an unforgettable part of the German holiday season.
9. Christmas Tree Apple, the Paradiesapfel
A red apple sits among the branches of some German Christmas Trees during Weihnachtszeit and until Epiphany. "Der Paradiesapfel" - The Paradise Apple. In some regions it was believed to be a symbol of "Hope" and "Promise" that something lost will be found, a goal or purpose revealed or achieved.
10. Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter
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, Spring and New Year held no promises.
Be sure to visit the German Culture Archives for all the articles!
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