Legend has it that when Germans decorate their Christmas tree, the very last ornament they hang on it is a pickle. Usually made from shiny or matte green glass rather than cucumbers, the Christmas Pickle is much more than just a decoration. On Christmas Eve, the first child to find the pickle hidden amongst the branches on the tree is said to get good luck for the year to come, as well as an extra present. SEE ALSO: Everything you need to know about preparing for Christmas like a German If you ask someone from the American Midwest, they will most likely be able to tell you all about this German festive custom. Germans, on the other hand, will have absolutely no idea what you're on about. In December 2016, a YouGov survey found that only 7% of Germans had ever heard of the 'Weihnachtsgurke'. What's more, only 6% of Germans with children who know about the Christmas Pickle actually practise the tradition. But you can certainly be forgiven for believing that the Christmas … [Read more...] about Are Christmas pickle ornaments really a German tradition?
Germans call New Year's Eve "Silvester," in honor of Pope Sylvester I, who died on December 31, 335. According to the legend, non-believers who were around him choked on fish bones. Some superstitious people therefore state that one shold avoid fish that night, or at least eat it very carefully. Another superstition annuls these fears, however. Carps are considered a lucky charm. This fish is therefore for many Germans a typical Silvester dish. It is believed that keeping a carp scale in your wallet guarantees that it will be filled with cash all year. Such lucky charms, combined with the good resolutions people like to make for the New Year, are bound to make 2017 an extraordinary year - at least that's what we wish you all. Click through the gallery above to discover more German traditions on New Year's Eve. Prost Neujahr! … [Read more...] about 10 German traditions on New Year’s Eve
The kids clap their hands as Thomas Diekhaus is abruptly interrupted while reading "Max and Moritz," a famous 19th century poem about the antics of two naughty boys. Their caps pulled down low on their heads, two real life boys dressed as Max and Moritz have snuck up onto the stage. 800 years of common history Humorit Wilhelm Busch published his Max und Moritz poem in 1865 Latvia's German connection is hundreds of years old. In 1201, Bishop Albert from Bremen founded the city of Riga, now the capital, where the Daugava River flows into the Baltic Sea. As a member of the Hanseatic League, many German traders came to Riga and the city flourished. It also became an important center of trade with Russia. Post-communist business boom All of the management personnel have to speak German, said Knauf manager Peter Rumer, since the Riga branch has daily contact with co-workers in Germany. Shakespeare vs. Goethe The Goethe Institute is Germany's world-wide cultural … [Read more...] about Goethe Institute Picks Up Long German Tradition in Latvia
If you drive north out of Adelaide in South Australia, there's a point where the names of towns and streets start to have German names and the architecture changes from British colonial to 19th-century German. Every village's main street has a German style bakery and signs touting "wurst" or "wein." When the grass-covered rolling hills give way to vineyards, you've arrived in Barossa Valley. The pioneers who opened this area up in the 1840s were German-speaking Lutherans fleeing from religious persecution in their Prussian homeland. A British entrepreneur, George Fife Angas, and his South Australia Company were looking for settlers to develop the new colony and the hard-working Prussian farmers fit the bill. Some 150 years ago, those families and their culture laid the foundation for Australia's prospering wine industry. Aussie wines with 'get-up-and-go' It is early autumn in the Barossa Valley, and that means harvest time. There's frantic activity, as grape growers try … [Read more...] about Wineries in Southern Australia bank on German tradition
In recent months, various government officials across Germany have investigated possible privacy violations committed by tech companies including Google and Facebook. Street View, which Google would like to bring to Germany, is a worldwide service that provides detailed, street-level photographs of various cities. It is currently available in many parts of the United States, United Kingdom, France and other countries but various German ministers have complained about Google's lack of transparency with their data collection policy, which has led to a delay in the rollout of the service. Similarly, Facebook has undergone similar scrutiny for being non-compliant with German privacy laws. Just last month, Germany's consumer protection minister, Ilse Aigner, said that she would quit Facebook over her frustration with the company's attitude. Deutsche Welle spoke with Dominik Boecker, an IT lawyer with Greyhills Rechtsanwaelte in Cologne, to learn more about the historical context of these … [Read more...] about Long-standing German tradition of data protection simply carrying on, says expert