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Traditions in Germany

The customs and customs of Germany can be surprising. Therefore, we explain the most common and important traditions and celebrations of the country, both socially and professionally.

Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.

Christmas

In Germany, the Christmas countdown is important, which is called Advent And it lasts four weeks. In the past there was fasting, as well as religious activities. Today is a festive time.

What stands out most of this season is the Advent Calendar, formed by 24 doors behind which a candy or chocolate is frequently hidden. Every day you have to open a different door.

The night of December 5 arrives at the houses Nikolaus, the German Santa Claus. This leaves candy and gifts in children's shoes, which are usually placed in the fireplace or behind the door. On the morning of December 6, young people run to see what's in their shoes.

Nikolaus is accompanied by Knecht Ruprecht (literally, "Ruperto servant"). He wears a dirty robe and whips with his sack the children who have not behaved well. In southern Germany this figure is replaced by the Krampus, the devil of Christmas.

Christmas markets stand out in these streets. Throughout the country more than 150 different ones are mounted. These fairs are formed by small wooden houses decorated and illuminated in which gifts and typical food are sold. On the night of December 24, families celebrate Christmas.

Christmas market in Frankfurt, Germany

German women and men

Formerly women were relegated to the so-called «3 K»: Kindergarten (children), Kirche (church) and Küche (kitchen), barely having space in the labor landscape.

Today, German women work in all kinds of positions, although there are some positions in which they predominate most, such as teaching, nursing and cleaning. However, they have greater weight than men in the care of children and the house.

In some Latin countries it is common for a man to piropee or whistle a woman in the street. In Germany this is not a custom and is never done. You don't even speak directly with a stranger and, in fact, consider yourself bad Education.

In the table

When sitting at the table, guests do not do so until the host indicates in which chair to do so. Similarly, you do not start eating until the owner of the house does.

In the case of restaurants, there are usually reserved tables for frequent customers, so people who have gone to this place do not use them. These tables are indicated with a sign that says Stammtisch, which means "table reserved for regular customers".

Poster of "Stammtisch" in a German brewery

The cutlery they use is continental style. To indicate that they have finished eating, place them in parallel to the right of the plate. The napkin is placed in the lap at the moment they will begin. It is impolite to support the elbows on the table, it can only be done on breaks.

To wish good profit, the words are said Gutten Appetit. In the case of providing there are two different expressions, Zum Wohl! or Prost!, the latter being more typical when provided with beer.

Love and marriage

A loving custom that the Germans make on February 14, Valentine's Day, is to give their partner the figure of a pig, which can also be chocolate. Although it does not seem like a very romantic option, it is said that this animal attracts good luck.

Before getting married, as in many other countries, the bride and groom celebrate their bachelor or single party separately. In addition, in some areas of the country, the boyfriend's best friend "kidnaps" the bride to take her to a bar. When the boyfriend finds them, he must pay the bill.

The day before the wedding is called Polterabend. In this party, to which you do not need to be invited, all attendees break dishes. Then it is the task of the bride and groom to collect the remains of the ground, a fact that symbolizes teamwork.

If the bride and groom decide to marry for the Church, they must do so beforehand in the Civil Registry so that the wedding is completely legal and formalized. Whether it is a religious or civil wedding, the couple throws rice at the exit. Some people are only invited to the banquet.

Another marriage tradition is that the bride and groom, once married, must cut a log placed on an easel with a double-handled saw, as a symbol of the first difficulty they overcome as marriage. It is common for the wedding to be thematic. The place, the costumes, the decoration and the menu will be related to the chosen motive.

Once at the ceremony, a popular action in the Nürnberg area is for newlyweds to toast and drink from a giant cup called Brautbecher, which symbolizes the union between them. Also, in northern Germany they taste a bridal soup made with beef broth and meatballs.

German wedding traditions

Pedagogy

Germany boasts of being one of the countries with the best educational systems in the world. This is due to the pedagogical traditions of the country and the way to educate children from an early age.

In the nursery or Kindergarten, the little ones live with other children of different ages so that they are independent and responsible. Likewise, in the school, the overall performance of the student is taken into account so that the student passes the course.

Physical activity is enhanced, in order to prevent childhood obesity, as well as improve sociability among young people and mental well-being. The little ones are not urged to read, but to play and learn.

A strange custom is that young people do not celebrate the end of the course, but the beggining of this one. It is a psychology tool for children to see learning as something positive.

Easter

Easter and Holy Week are Christian celebrations by which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. However, it also has a pagan origin: to welcome spring.

An Easter tradition in Germany is that of the supposed rabbit that hides painted eggs. It is an adventure for children to search and find these objects. A typical meal is the lamb-shaped sponge cake or easter lamb.

Rabbit and Easter eggs: a German custom

Also, on Easter Saturday the custom of fires remains. It consists of lighting large fires to completely scare away winter. Easter Sunday should be the first after the first full moon of spring.

New Year's Eve and New Year

The Germans have a habit to say goodbye to the year that can be considered quite rare, and is to see a British short called Dinner for one, which is about the 90th birthday of an older lady.

East sketch It was first broadcast in 1963 and the reasons for its success remain a mystery. However, on December 31 it is broadcast by several television networks at the same time.

On New Year's Eve parties are usually organized and you can not miss the Fireworks, especially in big cities. In Berlin, people concentrate on the Brandenburg Gate.

Fireworks show on the Rhine, Germany

When the new year arrives, the Germans play the game of Bleigießen. They melt lead on a spoon with a candle, pour the liquid into a glass and read it as if the coffee grounds were treated, forecasting what the year will be like.

Gastronomy

The German culinary tradition consists mostly of pork, beef and chicken. It is the basis of their diet and an indispensable ingredient in their typical food dishes.

It is very common to eat Bratwurst or German sausage, both as a main course and to accompany. We also find the pork knuckle and quiche, a salty pie made with cheese, cream and egg that comes from French cuisine.

Bratwurst: typical German sausage

Cafeterias and patisseries are typical, in which a coffee or hot drink is usually taken while tasting a carrot cake, an apple pie or some Berliners.

Germany's quintessential drink is the beer and is a good companion for your dishes. In each region they produce it in a different way. It is usually served in half-liter jugs.

Halloween

On October 31, the Germans have a double celebration, since in addition to Halloween, it is the Day of the Reformation, in which Martin Luther is honored. Therefore, in some federal states it is a national holiday.

As for Halloween, this habit came about 15 years ago to the country. It is celebrated especially by the youngest, who disguise themselves and go house by house pronouncing the phrase «Süßes oder Saures? », The equivalent of« trick or treat ».

A highly demanded destination on these dates is the Frankenstein Castle, which is 40 kilometers from Frankfurt. On December 31 there is a party only suitable for over 15 years.

Frankenstein Castle, Germany

birthday

Children are not given homework on their birthday. In this way they can celebrate their own party, in which everything will be decorated to the taste of the protagonist.

When birthday begins, a family member lights the same number of candles that the person turns years old. At the end of the day, the birthday boy blows the candles while making a wish. If you turn them off, the wish will be fulfilled.

Another very curious custom is that if a man turns thirty and remains single, he must go to sweep the stairs of the town hall while his friends throw debris. To stop sweeping, you must get a girl to kiss you.

Clothing

At some parties, the Germans wear their typical dress. One of the best known is the DirndlTraditional south. It is a kind of dress consisting of several garments, originally from the cleaning women of the 19th century.

German women with the traditional Dirndl

In the case of men, a basic piece is the Lederhose, pants made with leather that have braces. They are typical of alpine areas.

These pants are part of Tracht, a suit also formed by a hat, jacket, vest and shoes. They are usually made of linen or loden so that they shelter in the cold months.

Oktoberfest

It is the most popular beer festival in Germany and the most famous in the world. It has been organized in Munich since 1810. It begins on the first Saturday after September 15 and lasts between 16 and 18 days.

The Germans are dressed in the typical clothes that we have explained above. The appointment takes place in the field Theresienwiese, which hosts more than six millions of visitors.

To inaugurate the celebration, a parade headed by the mayor and accompanied by a music band is held. At 12 at night, the mayor uncovers the first barrel of beer, and twelve gunshots are fired.

The protagonist of this party is beer, from which millions of liters are consumed each edition. However, it is accompanied by popular local products, such as sausages.

Munich Oktoberfest: the beer festival

Protocol and greetings

If you are invited to a party or event, it is important to bring a gift as a way of thanks. However, you should not give away red roses, unless you want to make a declaration of love.

The puntuality It is the basis of German society; therefore, people arrive at the mentioned time, neither later nor sooner. For them being unpunctual is a sign of being rude.

When it comes to addressing others, young people are used to guarding. But in the case of addressing a stranger or an older person, it is about you and you are spoken with good manners. "You" in German says "du«, While« you »is«Sie«.

Also, to greet you never give two kisses, since the Germans need their personal space. Therefore, the correct formula is to give a handshake, but not to accompany it with a hug or with pats on the back.

Business and commercial customs

When doing business in Germany, the most important thing is that clear ideas are given, with facts and figures. Negotiations can be tough, but they are always effective.

Negotiate in Germany

They usually wear formal attire, especially attire, and address the rest of the people by their last name or the title they hold to express respect. When they finish a meeting, they don't usually applaud, but they hit on the table with the knuckles.

In most jobs, the workday is short but productive. There is a strong hierarchy and organization in which there is no room for spontaneity or improvisation.

German traditions in South America

During the nineteenth century there was an important immigration from Germans to countries in South America like Chile or Peru, which caused some of their traditions to be extended in these territories.

In the case of Argentina, the Germans who had previously emigrated to the Volga area in Russia arrived. They concentrate on towns such as the Village of San Antonio, and continue to prepare dishes such as sauerkraut and celebrate beer parties.

A large number of Germans also emigrated to Mexico. One of the areas in which they concentrated was in Chiapas, specifically in the Soconusco region, founding towns like New Germany.

In Chile they settled mostly in the south. His ideas and customs were very influential in the region, making changes in the education system, the army and architecture.

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