German Culture

Francine A. McKenna

Palm Bouquets are Good Luck charms. A 10th century German Easter tradition made with decorated twigs, herbs and flowers, carried in Palm Sunday processions and blessed in church, then kept for luck or decoration until next Ash Wednesday or added to Easter Sunday Fires. Their story and "How To".

Francine A. McKenna

"Harbingers of Spring", bringers of babies, stars of myth, superstition and a theme route. Storks are high on the list of Germany's favorite wildlife, and it's "celebration time" when they return to their nests on cliff-ledges, rooftops and chimneys, after wintering in warmer climates.

Francine A. McKenna

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, New Year and Spring held no promises.

Francine A. McKenna

Easter, and homes, gardens, wells and fountains, are decorated with colored eggs in German speaking countries. A tradition for centuries. Easter Markets fill with decorated eggs but it's the custom, and more fun, to "Do it Yourself". Great presents anytime of the year, here's an easy "How To".

Francine A. McKenna

Along with Easter's religious message, the Egg, Rabbit, Goddess Ostara, and of course Chocolate, star in Germany’s Easter celebrations. A mixture of History, Ostern symbols and Pagan and Christian tradition, makes the country's Easter customs and traditions special.

Francine A. McKenna

Twisting the Rule Book was the name of the game for Medieval monks during Fasts like Lent, and Monk's Chicken is delicious 13th century recipe, but with chicken rather than the tails from hapless beavers used in the middle ages. Allowed as "fish", as they spent time in water.

Francine A. McKenna

Executed for treason at 21, Sophie Scholl was one of many Germans who did not support the Nazi regime. Together with her brother Hans and friend Christoph Probst, guillotined in February 1943, as members of The White Rose, a non-violent resistance group of Munich University students.

Francine A. McKenna

An Easter without eggs...hard to imagine. And in Germany eggs of one type or another play a major starring role in the Easter celebrations...from Easter Trees and decorated Easter Fountains and Wells, to Easter Sunday Egg Hunts and the Easter Sunday Breakfast Table,

Francine A. McKenna

Easter in Germany, a mass of color with painted eggs and chocolate rabbits playing their part. Palm Sunday, and its decorative Palm Bouquets, begins "Karwoche", Holy Week, then a mix of religious, secular, and folk traditions, celebrate days of remembrance and festivity.

Francine A. McKenna

"Green Thursday", the Thursday before Easter. In Germany 'Gründonnerstag', where by tradition meals for the day are "Green", with "Green Bean Soup" and "Seven Herb Soup" among the most popular. Any herbs left are used on Easter Sunday in "Eggs with Frankfurter Green Sauce".

Francine A. McKenna

With special beers and secret recipes, a Lenten Fast was never all about deprivation for German monks, but their traditions and fast breaking recipes soon spread outside monastery walls. Maultaschen, Herrgottsbescheisserle - "Little Cheaters of the Lord" included. An over sized ravioli.

Francine A. McKenna

Groundhog Day, a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog and his friends, its origins a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, the Christian festival Candlemas, seasonal weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.