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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. Germany's Cheese Culture - Smile and say
From the North Sea to Allgaeu, Germany's "Foodie" favorite, Cheese, is produced countrywide everywhere from in small mountainside farms to industrial dairies. Hundreds of regional specialties and national varieties range from mild and buttery to spicy, highly flavored and less than fragrant.
2. Bird's Wedding, a Children's Tradition in Sorbia
It is a unique January tradition for young children in Sorbian Lusatia, eastern Germany...the "Bird's Wedding". They wear miniature wedding costumes, the bride a Magpie her groom a Raven or bride a Thrush and groom a Blackbird, and everyone from guests to the chaplain are also "Birds".
3. German Carnival...Karneval, Fasching and Fastnacht
Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasching, Germany's Mardi Gras. Different regions, different names and traditions as "The Fifth and Foolish Season" takes over city streets with "Crazy, Zany, Küsschen, Kater und Krapfen". Not enjoyed by everyone so Karnevalsmuffel, Carnival Grouchers, head for the hills.
4. German Bread - Fast Facts
Germany is a "Bread Paradise". With over 3050 registered varieties, almost all available types of grain used, from wheat, rye, barley and oats to millet, corn, rice and potato starch. While bread rolls go under so many different names in the various regions it is easier just to point.
5. 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.
6. Germany's House Cleaning Culture
Germany's universal passion for cleaning and tidying everything in sight, necessary or not and at any time of the day, or year, has earned its own name, Putzanfall. Cleaning Attack. A strangely "enjoyable", even compulsive, pastime, but there are still rules and traditions of course.
7. Carnival Jelly Donut, a Faschingskrapfen Recipe
Unless traditional food is involved a festival is not a festival in Germany, and for Karneval, Mardi Gras, that food is Faschingskrapfen, Carnival Jelly Donuts. Its story and recipe for those Berliner, Pfannkuchen, Fastnachtskrapfen - same thing, different names depending on the region.
8. Carnival in Cologne, Women's Thursday
Carnival in Germany began with masked Teutons creating chaos to frighten away winter's evil spirits. Now the Thursday before Ash Wednesday is Weiberfastnacht in Rhineland, when Karneval Wieber (women) cause havoc, take over City Halls and leave no necktie safe from their jumbo scissors.
9. 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, New Year and Spring held no promises.
10. Groundhog Day, Hedgehogs and Candlemas
Groundhog Day - a million dollar industry with Punxsutawney Phil the "forecasting" groundhog etc., but its origins are a mixture of ancient European and German "Hedgehog" folklore, "Candlemas" a Christian festival, the weather, and pagan traditions surrounding February 2.
Be sure to visit the German Culture Archives for all the articles!
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