German Culture

Francine A. McKenna

Prune Men, Prune People because Zwetschgenmännle, Dried Plum Boys, were joined by Zwetschgenweibla, Dried Plum Girls, long ago, are traditional German handcrafts. Good Luck symbols given to celebrate everything from Birthdays and Wedding to New Year, here is the story and easy DIY "How To" guide.

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

January 5 - Twelfth Night, and next day "Dreikönigstag" - Three Kings Day, Epiphany, are the final hours of the Advent and Weihnachten season. The ending of the Christmas celebrations in German speaking countries are a mixture of Tradition, Charity, Religion and Folklore.

Francine A. McKenna

Old, new, based on customs from the pagan past, all German's New Year's Traditions are designed to ensure the coming year will have the best chances possible of being a vintage one. Known as "Silvester", here is how the New Year is celebrated in Germany.

Francine A. McKenna

So how do they spend Christmas in Germany? Filled with celebration and age old customs, it is a rich and colorful mix of the religious, secular, traditional, folk and food.

Francine A. McKenna

There would be no Santa Claus if there hadn't been a St. Nicholas, as his reputation as secret benefactor, and giver of gifts, was the inspiration for Sinterklaas. Santa Claus. Nicholas Eve on December 5 and December 6 Nicholas Day make "Nikolaus" a magical time in many regions of Europe.

Francine A. McKenna

They don't decorate doors in Germany but sit on flat surfaces, or hang from a height...their four candles surrounded by evergreen foliage. One candle for each of Advent's four weeks. "Die Adventskränze", Advent Wreath, one of many traditions that are a part of Christmas in Germany.

Francine A. McKenna

Is a Weckmann the same as a Stutenkerl or Nikolaus? Yes the same "Bread Man" but a different name, and in German speaking countries no November St. Martin's Day, or December St. Nicholas, is complete without the traditional sweet yeast dough holiday specialty. Here is its story and a recipe.