Category Archives: Holidays

Happy New Year!

What a peaceful nighttime scene! Just a quiet street in Rodenbach, Germany. But that was before the madness. I’m from the western United States, a land of droughts, dead vegetation, and fast-moving wildfires. More than 21,000 wildfires burned across my … Continue reading →

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Consuming Christmas

Maybe because it comes along during the longest nights of the year, or maybe just because Germans seem to love a good celebration, Christmas is a very big deal in Germany. From what I’ve gathered in my time here, this … Continue reading →

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‘Tis the Season

Ask someone to give you a one-word description of a German Christmas market, and that word will probably be “Gl├╝hwein.” You’ll find this hot spiced wine drink, pronounced “glue-vine,” wherever people are outdoors in the cold. At French markets, look … Continue reading →

Posted in Festivals, Food and drink, Holidays, Tourist destinations | 2 Comments

The Capitol of Christmas

The doom and gloom of November is behind us now, and Advent season has arrived. All over the continent, thousands of Christmas markets are setting up: tiny ones in small villages and enormous ones in the great cities of Europe. … Continue reading →

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What Happened to Two Minutes of Silence?

Foreigners find it almost shocking that Germans dance in the streets on Veteran’s Day. It’s the anniversary of the end of World War I. How can that possibly call for a celebration? First of all, Germans certainly honor their veterans. … Continue reading →

Posted in Festivals, Folk traditions, German history, Holidays | 5 Comments

11-11-11 (at 11:11 o’clock)

St. Martin’s Day (Martintag), November 11, kicks off the beginning of German carnival season, called Fasching, Fastnacht, Fastelabend, or Karneval, depending on where you live. But as soon as it’s begun, Fasching vanishes, only to reappear after Christmas. Why the … Continue reading →

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Lighting Up the Night

Having mourned the death of the day, Germans now start having fun with the night. They traditionally celebrate November 11th, St. Martin’s Day, with a nighttime children’s parade (Martinsumzug). Rodenbach has a population of only three thousand. Nevertheless, hundreds showed … Continue reading →

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On St. Martin’s Day, little children parade through the streets after dark, singing, Ich geh’ mit meiner Laterne Und meine Laterne mit mir. Dort oben leuchten die Sterne, Hier unten, da leuchten wir. I go with my lantern, and my … Continue reading →

Posted on by Clare Dunkle | 2 Comments

The Month of the Dead

In Germany, November is the month of the dead, a special time to remember lost loved ones. German Catholics set aside the first two days for this purpose: Allerheiligen, the Feast of All Saints, and Allerseelen, the Feast of All … Continue reading →

Posted in Churches and religion, Daily life, Festivals, Folk traditions, Gardening, Holidays | 4 Comments

The Witching Hour

Last Saturday evening after dark, Kaiserslautern held its third annual Halloween City-Parade through the downtown streets. The parade a year ago apparently brought out 80,000 people, and this year’s events were heavily attended as well. A lot of the spectators … Continue reading →

Posted in Festivals, Holidays, Seasons | 1 Comment