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German Traditions

Author: David Swift
by David Swift
Posted: Jun 06, 2017
german festival

Germany has a deep rooted history and has exerted its influence across Europe especially the countries around its border. From France to the Czech Republic, Belgium to Switzerland, Poland to Austria, all these countries have been a major player in Europe’s past and have had a hand in shaping today’s Germany.

From this rich culture stems a bevvy of customs and traditions that are celebrated with vigour and passion throughout the year. Whether it's at a wedding or holidays such as Christmas, Germans have been known to partake and take great pride in their traditional celebrations.

Let's shed some light on four commonly celebrated traditions.

Oktoberfest

Arguably, the world’s most celebrated German Festival, Oktoberfest is unmistakably a German tradition. Spread across 16 days and held in Munich, this popular German festival holiday began in October of 1810 and attracts nearly six million people from the world over every year.

People come here to drink beer while indulging in some delectable sausages and marks the wedding of Bavaria's Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.

Easter

Celebrated all across Germany with grand fervour, Easter is as German as it gets. The Easter Bunny was in fact first mentioned in German writings dating all the way back to the 16th century.

According to several stories, the pagan goddess of spring, Eostre, once saved a bird whose wings had frozen during the winter by turning it into a rabbit. Because the rabbit had once been a bird, it could lay eggs and there lies the mystery behind the lovable Easter Bunny.

Easter is celebrated traditionally with a hearty breakfast with hard boiled eggs and family members then take turns to find hidden eggs. Furthermore, they have a traditional meal comprising of either pork, beef or lamb.

Click to know more about list of German festivals 2017

Weddings

Germans know how to throw a wedding party and traditional German weddings are said to last for several days at a stretch. Additionally, food plays a major role in German wedding traditions and it is customary the night before the nuptials, for the groom to eat a big ham to himself in order to be in prime shape for the night that follows.

Commencing with a simple civil ceremony attended by family members and close friends, the next day encompasses a party inviting all friends. The final day features a ceremony at the church immediately followed by the official wedding reception.

Tradition states the bride should carry with her a piece of bread and salt which is an omen for good harvest while the groom should carry along with him grain for wealth and good luck. On leaving the church, coins are thrown at the children in attendance and the grand party begins.

Click to know more about German traditional dress facts

Christmas Time

Christmas is when Germany truly comes to life and four weeks counting down to Christmas, Germans celebrate Advent which is a delightful and romantic time of the year.

Christmas trees are decorated with apples, nuts, candy, candles, cookies, tinsel and angels throughout the streets. This is also the time of the year when you will find cute little hand-crafted Christmas decorations, adorable little incense burners, intricately carved wooden toys and nativity scenes at traditional Christmas markets.

As a matter of fact, some of the most famous Christmas carols have their roots firmly established in Germany. The much-desired Gingerbread houses also have its roots in Nuremberg, Germany in 1643. German families celebrate by creating gingerbread houses, replete with frosting and gumdrops, every December.

About the Author

A travel writer who loves to travel different places of the world and to explore nature or different culture, cuisines and traditions.

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Author: David Swift

David Swift

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Member since: Apr 24, 2017
Published articles: 2

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