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Here are the top ten articles for the German Culture Site! These rankings are live and get reset at the beginning of each month, so check back often to see what your fellow visitors are most interested in!
1. Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas
Groundhog Day - a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog etc., but its origins are in a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, "Candlemas" a Christian festival, the weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.
2. 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, and "cold weather meal", once considered so special it was saved for celebrations, or Sundays. Now it is a traditional dinner choice.
3. Bird's Wedding, Children's Tradition in Sorbia
It is a January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany; the unique "Bird's Wedding". Dressed in miniature wedding costumes, the bride is a Magpie, her groom a Raven; or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird. While everyone, from guests to chaplain, are colorful "Birds".
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. Carnival in Cologne, Women's Thursday
Karneval in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away evil spirits of winter. Now Thursday before Ash Wednesday is Weiberfastnacht in the Rhineland, where Carnival "Wieber"/women cause turmoil, take over City Halls, and no necktie is safe from their jumbo scissors.
6. Authentic German Lebkuchen Recipe
German Lebkuchen, that special German gingerbread, makes spicy ginger cookies, Valentine's Day or Oktoberfest Hearts, Witches' Cottages, Gingerbread Men, Halloween Ghosts, Christmas decorations, Lanterns giving light and aroma. But whatever you create with this recipe it will always be delicious.
7. Oktoberfest Hearts - Gingerbread Cookie Hearts
Oktoberfest in Munich: The super sized version of a traditional Bavarian harvest festival, and heart shaped gingerbread cookies decorated with mottos are an unmissable part of its calorific food; a "sweet" accompaniment to "Wiesn-Mass". Oktoberfest beer.
8. How to Make a Schultüte, Candy Cone
For Germany's first graders a Candy Cone filled with small gifts and candy helps makes that first day at school even more memorable. A custom that began in early 19th century Germany, Schultüte are as popular now as they were then and could be a fun idea and new tradition for your own family.
9. Lent, Monks and their Maultaschen Recipe
Special beers and secret recipes made sure the Lenten Fast was never all about deprivation for German monks. Their traditions, and fast breaking recipes, soon spread outside monastery walls, including "Herrgottsbescheisserle", Little Cheaters of the Lord; an over sized ravioli.
10. Carnival Season in Germany
Karneval/Fastnacht/Fasching, German Mardi Gras. Different regions, different names and traditions. Crazy, zany, Kuesschen, Kater und Krapfen, "The Fifth and Foolish Season" takes over city streets. Although not enjoyed by everyone, so Karnevalsmuffel - Carnival Grouchers - head for the hills.
Be sure to visit the German Culture Archives for all the articles!
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