Category Archives: Traditionen in Deutschland

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

Haupteingang Oktoberfest
Haupteingang Oktoberfest
Seit wann gibt es das Oktoberfest?

Seit 1810

Zu welchem Anlass wurde es zum ersten Mal gefeiert?

Zur Hochzeit von Kronprinz Ludwig von Bayern mit Prinzessin Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

Woher hat die Theresienwiese ihren Namen?

Von der Braut Prinzessin Therese

1819

Die Stadt München legt fest, dass das Oktoberfest jedes Jahr gefeiert wird.

1835

Erster Trachtenumzug zur Silberhochzeit von Ludwig und Therese.

1850

Die „Bavaria“ wird eingeweiht.

1880

Buden und Zelte werden zum ersten Mal mit elektrischem Licht beleuchtet.

1881

Die erste Hendlbraterei wird eröffnet.

1887

Wirte und Schausteller fahren zur Eröffnung zum ersten Mal gemeinsam zur Festwiese.

1910

Größtes Bierzelt der Welt mit 12.000 Plätzen zum 100. Geburtstag des Oktoberfestes.

1950

Der Oberbürgermeister zapft zum ersten Mal das erste Fass Bier an.

1980

Bombenattentat von Rechtsextremen

1985

Besucherrekord: 7,1 Millionen Gäste

2005

Die „Ruhige Wies’n“: Erst ab 18 Uhr darf in den Zelten Partymusik gespielt werden.

2010

Bierrekord: 7 Millionen Liter

Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest

G7 Summit 2015 in Schloss Elmau

Key topics for the summit

The G7 Summit 2015 in Schloss Elmau will focus on the global economy as well as on key issues regarding foreign, security and development policy. Additionally the UN conferences to be held in 2015 as well as the post-2015 agenda will be discussed.

Other key issues they will be addressing include

  • Protection of the marine environment, marine governance and resource efficiency
  • Antibiotic resistance, neglected and poverty-related diseases, and Ebola
  • Retail and supply chain standards, and
  • Empowering self-employed women and women in vocational training

The leaders of the G7 countries will also discuss energy security, including as part of the Rome G7 Energy Initiative. The G7 Energy Initiative for Energy Security was launched at a meeting of the energy ministers of the G7 countries held in Rome in May 2014, at which agreement was reached on more joint measures to boost energy security. The leaders of the G7 countries then approved the principles of and measures under the Rome G7 Energy Initiative at their summit in June 2014.

In addition, they will continue the ongoing G7 process in regard to development policy.

The President of the United states learned some German to greet the people in Krün.
(Präsident Obama sprach ein paar Wörter Deutsch)
Er sagte:“ Grüß Gott.“
( how people greet in Bavaria)
”Vielen Dank.”
Thank you very much)

The White Asparagus Season in Germany

For Germans the Spargelzeit, or the white asparagus season, is an eagerly anticipated sign of spring. Depending on the weather, the season for asparagus begins some time in April and lasts until St. John the Baptist’s feast day June 24, and during this time the country is gripped by ‘Asparagus Fever’.

Everything comes with asparagus in the restaurants, the farmer’s markets offer abundance of asparagus (most of which is white, not green as we are used to in USA) – small and large, and any other supporting products that are used in the making of the asparagus dishes, like the Hollandaise sauce. The Hollandaise sauce is the main and most popular sauce used to serve the white asparagus with, and, to tell you the truth, it goes very well with it. It can be bought in a box or made at home from scratch.

The Germans consider asparagus – a royal vegetable that is why it’s served in some of the best restaurants and homes in the country.
However, it wasn’t until it was discovered in Asia that asparagus was even considered to be ‘edible’.

The History of How White Asparagus Tradition Has Become So Prominent in Germany:

Around 2,000 years ago, green asparagus spread from Asia to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea where it became a delicacy.

At the time the word ‘asparagus’ was used by the Greeks for most stalk type vegetables but eventually described just this one, which the Romans transported, together with many other plant species, when crossing the Alps to conquer northern Europe’s ‘uncivilized’ tribes.

However, there was a time when asparagus fell out of favor. It was after 300 AD and it was ‘gone’ until the 11th century, when it was brought ‘back’ to existence after it’s been used as a medicinal herb usually grown in German monastery gardens and prepared by monks.

But it wasn’t until the reign of Louis XIV – the French Sun King – who found asparagus to be up to his taste, that asparagus regained popularity in Europe as a luxury vegetable reserved for the tables of nobles and the various royal courts.

Then in 16th century Germany ‘Spargel’ began to be cultivated around Stuttgart, and gained a nickname, ‘The Royal Vegetable’, because, as in France, it was only available to the nobility. But it was only a matter of time before all the Germany fell in love with asparagus. By the middle of the 19th century it was popular with all levels of society. The ‘Spargelzeit’ – Asparagus Season – had become and up to this day a huge event that is celebrated throughout the country. It’s all the farms that grow asparagus come every day to the main square of the towns to sell it to the public and restaurants, but when all the restaurants that offer German cuisine make up a ‘seasonal menu’ for the months of the asparagus season that is called “asparagus menu’, featuring all kinds of dishes with the asparagus.

Der Mann im Garten

schneemann schneemannschneemannIn einem Garten stand sehr stolz
ein Mann. Er war auch nicht aus Holz,
war nicht aus Fleisch und gänzlich weiß,
er war aus Schnee und etwas Eis.
schneemannAm Kopf trug er ‘nen schwarzen Hut,
die Möhrennase stand ihm gut,
aus Kohlenstückchen war sein Mund,
und selber war er kugelrund.
Die kalte Luft, die liebte er,
auch sonst war er kein Miesmacher.
Doch als die warme Sonne schien,
da flog die Fröhlichkeit dahin.
Angstvoll rief er zur Sonne rauf:
„Hör’ bitte doch zu scheinen auf,
ich wäre gern’ noch lange hier!“
Da sprach die Sonne mit Manier:sonne
„Der Winter ist ab jetzt vorbei,
hör’ auf mit deiner Winslerei!
Der Frühling ist ab nun im Land,
das ist dir hoffentlich bekannt!“
Da weinte unser Mann gar sehr.
Er weinte, weinte immer mehr,
und als es Abend war, o je,
war er nur mehr ein kleiner See.

© Richard Mösslinger

Frage:

Wer ist der Mann im Garten?

Es sind 10 Buchstaben.

Neujahrsspruch 2015

Neujahrsspruch 2015
Neujahrsspruch 2015

Der Erfolg, der gab uns Recht,
im alten Jahr lief nie was schlecht.
Das Glück war stets auf unserer Seite,
dieser Stern uns weiter leite,
auf den Wegen unseres Strebens,
nichts im Leben ist vergebens.
Wir motivieren mit Freude und Begeisterung auch im neuen Jahr,
so wie es auch im Letzten war,
und wünschen Erfolg und ganz viel Glück,
sehen Sie nach vorne und niemals zurück.

Der „Heilige Abend“

Das Warten ist vorbei, der Tag der Freude und des Schenkens ist gekommen. In den deutschsprachigen Ländern ist dies der Abend des 24. Dezember, der sogenannte „Heilige Abend“. In den meisten Familien findet die „Bescherung“ zwischen 17 und 19 Uhr statt.
Draußen ist es längst dunkel. Die Christbaumkerzen werden angezündet und die übrigen Lichter gelöscht. Die Kinder dürfen endlich ins Wohnzimmer kommen. Neugierig spähen sie zu den Geschenken hinüber, die unter dem funkelnden, geschmückten Weihnachtsbaum liegen. Ein wenig Geduld müssen sie aber noch haben, denn zuerst werden gemeinsam Weihnachtslieder gesungen. Dann wünscht man sich gegenseitig „Fröhliche Weihnachten” und nun dürfen die Geschenke ausgepackt werden. Kritiker beklagen, dass Weihnachten heute kaum mehr etwas mit Religion zu tun
habe und allzu oft nur noch ein Fest des Konsums sei. Das trifft zu, aber eine typisch deutsche Erscheinung ist es sicherlich nicht.

Heiliger Abend
Heiliger Abend

Frage:

Wessen Geburt wird am Heiligen Abend gefeiert?

Der Christbaum und die Weihnachtskrippe

“O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum, wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Du grünst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit, nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.”

Der Tannenbaum
Der Tannenbaum

Wer die erste Strophe dieses beliebten deutschen Weihnachtsliedes hört, kann vielleicht verstehen, dass für die meisten Deutschen ein Weihnachtsfest ohne Christbaum undenkbar ist.

Gegen Ende November öffnen die Christbaumhändler in den Städten ihre Verkaufsstände. Dort kann man Fichten und Tannen in allen Größen und Preisklassen erwerben. Am 24. Dezember wird der Baum dann im Wohnzimmer aufgestellt und geschmückt. Man verwendet dazu einen Christbaumständer aus Metall, glitzernde Girlanden,  Lebkuchenfiguren, Strohsterne und kostbaren Schmuck aus Holz oder Glas, der sich oft schon seit Generationen im Familienbesitz befindet. Das Wichtigste aber sind die Kerzen. Sie werden mit speziellen Haltern an den Zweigen befestigt und verbreiten mit ihrem geheimnisvollen und romantischen Licht erst das richtige Weihnachtsgefühl im Haus.

Weihnachtskrippe
Weihnachtskrippe

In vielen katholischen Familien wird unter oder neben dem Christbaum eine Weihnachtskrippe aufgestellt. Dabei handelt es sich meist um das Modell des Stalls von Bethlehem, davor das Christuskind: Es ist auf Stroh gebettet und umgeben von Maria, Josef, Engeln, Hirten und Tieren.

Frage:
Was braucht man, um einen Christbaum aufzustellen?

German Christmas Traditions

Customs of one of the most important German holidays

Christmas, or Weihnachten, is considered by Germans to be the most important of the major holidays. Although secularized and commercialized compared to Christmas celebrations of yore, the German holiday season is a time for introspection, celebration, and family and friends; it is less consumption-oriented than in the United States. Not only the holiday itself, but also the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas involve many traditions and customs of diverse origins:

Advent

The German Christmas season officially begins with the first Sunday of Advent. Stollen, the oldest known German Christmas treat, and Christmas cookies (Plätzchen) are often baked during this time. Gingerbread houses, nativity scenes, hand-carved wooden Nutcracker figures (Nussknacker), Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramiden), and lighted city streets and homes are all signs that Christmas is on its way.

The Advent Wreath – Der Adventskranz

The Advent wreath (Adventskranz) is adorned with four candles, one of which is lit on each of the four Sundays preceding Christmas. The first Advent wreath, which appeared in the mid-19th century, had 4 larger candles and 19 smaller ones. Each day one additional candle was lit to help the children count the days until Christmas. Today only the four larger candles remain. However, the tradition has been exported to many other countries around the world and was adapted to existing customs. The Advent wreath of the Eastern Orthodox Church uses 6 candles to last through its somewhat longer Advent season.

The Advent wreath has been attributed religious and elemental significance. The tradition of a ring of light existed among the Germanic tribes many centuries before the celebration of Advent. It is believed that fewer candles were lit with each progressive lighting to represent the shortening of the days until the solstice, at which time the Julfest celebrated the return of light. (Incidentally, the English word yule is a cognate with the Germanic Jul).

Advent, Advent …ein Lichtlein brennt
erst eins, dann zwei, dann drei, dann vier
dann steht das Christkind vor der Tür.

The Advent Calendar – Der Adventskalender
Adventskalender
Adventskalender

The Advent calendar (Adventskalender) is a German invention that was originally designed to involve children in the festivities leading up to Christmas. The calendars are usually made of cardboard and have 24 small windows or flaps, one of which is opened on each day leading up to Christmas. Behind each window is a Christmas scene or motif. Nowadays, calendars may contain chocolate or candy behind each window, and sometimes even small toys. The Advent calendar is a more recent invention of modern capitalism. Originally, families would mark the 24 days of December preceding Christmas with a chalk line on the wall. The first hand-crafted Advent calendars were produced in the mid-19th century; the first printed calendar appeared in Munich in 1903. Eventually the custom was exported all over the world.

Christmas markets – Weihnachtsmärkte
Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas Fair at night, Stuttgard, Germany
Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas Fair at night, Stuttgard

When the Advent season opens, Christmas markets also crop up in nearly every German town, large or small. The town squares, normally dark early in winter months, are lit up and buzzing with activity during this time. Townspeople gather together, listen to brass band music, drink beer or hot mulled wine (Glühwein) or apple cider, and enjoy the hearty traditional fare of the region. Vendors peddle baked goods, including gingerbread hearts, sugar-roasted almonds, crepes, cookies, stollen, cotton candy and other sweets. Christmas tree decorations, seasonal items, and handcrafted articles, such as wooden toys and hand-blown glass ornaments, are also sold.

Christmas markets date back to at least the 14th century and were one of the many markets held throughout the year. It was here that people bought everything they needed for the Christmas celebration: baking moulds, decorations, candles, and toys for the children. In fact, until well into the 20th century, the Weihnachstmärkte were the only place for people to buy such seasonal items.

Markets differ from place to place; each has its own regional imprint. The market at Aachen, for instance, is known for its gingerbread men (Aachner Printen). The regions around the Erzgebirge mountain range are famous for their handmade wooden crafts. Augsburg has a life-sized Advent calendar and opens the holiday season with its famous “Angel Play.” At the Frankfurt Christmas Market, visitors will find Quetschenmännchen (little prune men) and Brenten (almond cookies).

The most famous Christmas market is the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt, which is known for its gold foil angels and locally produced gingerbread cakes. At least 375 years old, it is one of the oldest, and with over 200 vendors participating each year, it is also one of the largest Weihnachtsmärkte in Germany.

Saint Nicholas – Sankt Nikolaus
St. Nicholas & Knecht Ruprecht
St. Nicholas & Knecht Ruprecht

St. Nicholas Day is celebrated on December 6th in Germany as well as in other European countries. On the evening before the 6th, children place their newly cleaned shoes in front of the door in the hope that Nicholas might fill them with nuts, fruits, chocolate, and sweets. If the children have behaved well, their wishes will be fulfilled. Children who have caused mischief will receive only a switch, which symbolizes punishment for their bad deeds.

The real St. Nicholas lived in the 4th century and was the bishop of a region located in present-day Turkey. Through stories and legends associated with him, he became known as the protector of children and the anonymous bestowed of gifts upon them. Over the centuries, the life and deeds of St. Nicholas were celebrated on the saint’s appointed day, the 6th of December. By the Middle Ages, the observance had already become a celebration of children and a day on which they received gifts. It was the German Martin Luther who sought to sever the connection between the saint and the gift-giving celebration for children, because in his Reformation theology, there was no place for the glorification of saints. Rather than abolishing the custom outright, Luther replaced the persona of Nicholas with that of the Christ child; in his Protestant teachings, not Nicholas but rather now the baby Jesus was attributed with bringing the children gifts, and not on the saint’s day but rather at Christmas. Today in many regions of Germany, not Saint Nick, but rather the Christkindl leaves Christmas gifts for children on December 24th.

The adherents of the Catholic Counterreformation did not quietly accept the diminishment of their saint. They responded to the practices of the unorthodox Protestants by making Nicholas a figure who visited families’ homes on his appointed day and stood in judgment over children. If the young ones could answer religious questions and said their bedtime prayers faithfully, they received a gift from the sack that Nicholas’ companion, Knecht Ruprecht, had slung over his shoulder. Those that slacked in their religious commitments got the switch or were threatened with being hauled off in Ruprecht’s sack.

Today children in all the German-speaking regions, regardless of religious denomination, celebrate Nicholastag. Ruprecht, who typically carries a basket filled with edible goodies for the children (and also the switches for the naughty children), has become Nicholas’ constant companion. In German-speaking Switzerland, Ruprecht is known as Schmutzli.

Santa Claus – Der Weihnachtsmann
Santa Claus
Santa Claus

The figure of Santa Claus, known in Germany as der Weihnachtsmann (literally, “the Christmas man”), is a direct descendant of Saint Nicholas, as can easily be seen from the derivation of the name “Santa Claus”. The English appellation came directly from the Dutch variant “Sinterklaas”. Centuries-old Northern European tradition also knew a similar figure – a bearded old man in a long, brown, hooded fur coat who traveled on a reindeer-drawn sled. Carrying a staff and nuts, respectively symbolizing fertility and non-perishable, substantial nourishment, this figure from Lapland represented preparation for the long winter season ahead. This figure likely in turn descends from the god Thor or another deity from Germanic mythology.

Many of the characteristics attributed to the modern-day Santa Claus are easily recognizable in both the St. Nicholas figure and the personality descended from old Germanic folklore. The Weihnachtsmann, much like Santa Claus, is depicted as a jolly old man with a long white beard in a red fur suit, with a sack of presents and a switch. On Christmas Eve he leaves gifts for the well-behaved children and punishes those who have been bad. He doesn’t arrive through the chimney, but rather slips in and out just long enough to leave the gifts, usually before children can catch a glimpse of him. Depending on the German-speaking region, today it is either the Weihnachtsmann or the Christkind (Christ child) who leaves gifts for the children to open on December 24th in Germany.

Children’s verse:
Lieber guter Weihnachtsmann,
sieh mich nicht so böse an.
Stecke deine Rute ein,
will auch immer artig sein.

The Christmas tree – Der Tannenbaum
Der Tannenbaum
Der Tannenbaum

The German Tannenbaum is usually put up and decorated on Christmas Eve, though some families opt to erect their tree during the Advent season. Traditionally, the Germans used the fir tree, but nowadays the spruce is widely used. Decorations may include tinsel, glass balls or straw ornaments and sweets. A star or an angel tops the Tannenbaum, and beneath the tree, a nativity scene might be set up and the presents next to it. Germans also usually continue to use real lit candles instead of electric lights on the tree.
The first known Christmas tree was set up in 1419 in Freiburg by the town bakers, who decorated the tree with fruits, nuts, and baked goods, which the children were allowed to remove and eat on New Year’s Day. The town guilds and associations first brought evergreens inside their guild houses and decorated them with apples and sweets. Candles were eventually added to the decorations. Already since the Middle Ages, ordinary Germans had been bringing yew, juniper, mistletoe, holly, evergreen boughs – any plant that maintained its green color through the lifeless and dreary winter months – into their homes. Even in areas where forests were sparse, the tradition took hold; people in Northern Germany, for instance, used Christmas pyramids (Weihnachtspyramiden) in lieu of Christmas trees. The pyramid form was created using sticks that were then decorated with fir branches. By 1800, the custom of bringing a tree into the home was firmly established in many German-speaking regions and continued to spread throughout Europe, and eventually, around the world. The custom was brought to North America by German-speaking immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio in the 18th century.

The Tannenbaum is taken down on New Year’s Day or on January 6th, Three King’s Day, at which time the children can ransack the tree for the sweets and treats that decorated it.

Christmas Eve – Heiliger Abend (also Heiligabend)
Heiliger Abend
Heiliger Abend

December 24th begins as a regular workday. But by 2:00 pm, often even earlier, businesses close in preparation for the holiday celebration, a large part of which occurs on Christmas Eve in Germany. The traditional evening meal includes carp and potato salad. Families sing Christmas carols together and may read the story of Christ’s birth aloud. Family members exchange gifts; children are typically the focal point of the gift exchange. The tradition of opening gifts on Heiliger Abend (rather than on December 6th in honor of St. Nicholas) was started by Martin Luther in the 16th century in favor of a celebration that honored Christ rather than a Catholic saint.

On Christmas Eve, German families – whether Protestant or Catholic and even those who are not regular church-goers – often attend mass or a church service. While the mass traditionally takes place at midnight, in recent times the services have moved into the earlier evening hours.

Christmas Day(s) – Der erste und zweite Weihnachtstag

Both December 25 and 26 are legal holidays in Germany and are known as the First and Second Christmas Day respectively. What originally started out as a church celebration of Christ’s birth has gradually become a family celebration. Businesses are closed, and time is spent visiting with extended family. Goose is the traditional fare on the First Christmas Day, or perhaps rabbit or a roast. These are accompanied by traditional German fare such as apple and sausage stuffing, red cabbage, and potato dumplings. The second Christmas day is usually a quieter time, a day for peaceful contemplation.