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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. Christmas in Germany
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.

2. Advent Wreaths and an Advent in Germany
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.

3. Advent Calendars, a Countdown to Christmas
December 1...time to open the Advent Calendar and discover the first of its twenty-four surprises. One of Germany's much loved Weihnachtszeit holiday traditions for generations, an Adventskalender begins the countdown to Heiligabend, Christmas Eve.

4. 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.

5. St. Nicholas in Germany
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.

6. Speculaas the Original Biscoff, Recipe
For centuries part of St. Nicholas and Christmas holiday traditions, Speculaas are spiced caramelized cookies found everywhere in Germany, from accompanying that cup of coffee at the hair stylists to pavement cafés. And long before they became known as the less spicy Biscoff Airline Cookie.

7. Lucky Chimney Sweeps, Germany's Schornsteinfeger
Tradition and superstition surround Chimney Sweeps in Europe, and for Germany the traditions of "Lucky" Schornsteinfeger, in black gold buttoned suit and top hat, are rooted far in the past. In "real life", crafted or chocolate, they are a favorite "Good Luck" symbol.

8. Three Kings Day, Epiphany in Germany
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.

9. Three Kings Day Cake Recipe
Dreikönigstag, Epiphany, on January 6 ends the Christmas season, and in many of Germany's regions and German speaking countries one of the traditions is a King's Cake. The lucky finder of a Christkind figure, almond or dried white bean in their portion, is crowned a King or Queen for the Day.

10. German New Year Tradition, Bleigießen
It was a quirky way of telling the future at New Year, melting heavy metal and interpreting the shapes that appeared when dropped in water. Now it is the in every way safer Wachsgießen, casting oracles from scraps of wax. Here is a version to try, with over 100 interpretations for those shapes.



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



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Germany's Dried Fruit People, Zwetschgenmännle

Germany 1946/47, The Hunger Winter

Three Kings Day, Epiphany in Germany

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