Germany Local Custom Tips by Leipzig
Germany Local Customs: 322 reviews and 352 photos
Christmas in Leipzig
When nights are getting longer and the air fills with the aroma of cinnamon, Stollen, Glühwein (spiced mulled red wine) and roasted nuts, it is Christmas time. Every year, Germany's traditional markets draw millions of visitors, both local and foreign. Christmas markets can be found in big cities as well as in small towns. These markets offer baked goods, sweets and toys and feature local and regional specialities.
On Easter all Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ from the grave. The name Easter comes from the ancient Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn named "Eastre".
Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. Germans decorate their flats (apartments) with small Easter figures (bunnies, hens, eggs etc) as well as fresh crocuses and daffodils. It is also custom to cut some twigs of willow and birch and put them into a vase. A couple of days before Easter Sunday cress is sowed in small boxes on the window.
On Easter Sunday the Easter Bunny comes early in the morning and hid some presents in eggs in the flat and when the kids awake they have the task to find them.
The traditions with the Easter bunny and the hidden eggs dates back to the mid 17th century.
Breakfast (in German: Frühstück) is usually black bread, toast or rolls, margarine, cold cuts, cheese slices, honey and jams. Additionally coffee, a boiled egg and a selection of fruits. Kids usually eat corn flakes with milk.
In the afternoon, Kaffee und Kuchen ('coffee and cakes') are served at home or in a café. It is also customary to have a tea. Depending on the region you will be offered a abundant selection of regional cake specialities. Every good cafe offers the Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (Black Forest torte). That's the most delicious torte in Germany!
Welcome to the land with the highest beer consumption and production per capita. More than 5000 sorts of beers are offered and you have to know that every region is proud of its own kind of beer.
In general but especially in the north and east the Pilsener is favoured.
Around Düsseldorf an amber colored Alt is popular.
In Cologne people drink the light yellow Kölsch.
In the south people drink a light, highly effervescent, top-fermented beer, called Weizen (wheat-beer).
The Bock Beer is a very strong beer and brewed around Hannover.
The Black Beer is a very old beer and mainly brewed in the regions of East Germany.
In Berlin, a very light beer, sweetened with syrup, called Berliner Weiße is served.
You can also get mixed beers, like Radler or Alster Wasser, which is a fifty-fifty mix of beer and lemonade. Also refreshing is a Diesel, a beer and cola mix
German beer, however, is still brewed as the law has stipulated since 1516: from malt, water, hops and yeast - and nothing else!
Okay, I know this is not an insider tip. Every one knows that germans love sausages. But what you might not know is that each region is proud of its own special sausage.
Everyone knows the Currywurst (curry sausage) that was invented in Berlin. There you still get the best.
People from Franconia (north Bavaria) invented the finger-size grilled sausage, called Nürnberger.
In Bavaria you've to eat Weißwurst (white sausage) with sweet mustard.
The Swabians love a black sausage spiced with thyme, cloves and nutmeg.
Pinkel, a very spicy sausage with bacon from Lower Saxony.
In Saxony you'll get a Sächsische Bratwurst (Saxon grilled sausage) spiced with marjoram.
And in Thuringia you have to try Thüringer Rotwurst, a grilled red sausage and of course the real Thüringer Rostbratwurst (Thuringian Bratwurst), that was invented here hundreds of years ago.
In the New Federal States you should try the world famous Bockwurst.
People mostly associate Germans food with potatoes and they are right. Friedrich der Große (King Frederick the Great of Prussia) brought the potato to Germany and made it popular as probably nowhere else in the world. So popular that since the 18th century the potato can be found on every menu.
The real destiny for the potato is to be served as side dish. It comes with varying spices, boiled and fried as a gratin and it can be served in foil or as potato soup.
Another way to eat potatoes is to boil them in their skin, peel them and add just pepper, salt, chive and curd.
First of all, note that Germany is on the same degree of latitude as Newfoundland and the Baikal Lake. But the warm Gulf Stream gives Central Europe a mild climate.
There are thirteen German wine growing regions with excellent wines: Rheinhessen, Palatinate, Baden, Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Württemberg, Franconia, Nahe, Rheingau, Mittelrhein, Ahr, Hessische Bergstraße, Saale-Unstrut and Saxony.
My personal favorite:
Müller-Thurgau (cross between Riesling and Gutedel) - a dry, refreshing light white wine
In fall the very first wine is served as "Federweisser". This wine is unclear and very sweet.
a Christmas Market in Hannover
In Germany Christmas is celebrated on Christmas Eve (December 24). In the morning of this day the whole family comes together to decorate the Christmas Tree. In the afternoon around 5.00 pm the Weihnachtsmann (Santa) knocks on the door and bring presents.
In religious families everyone attend the Christmas Mass in the churches.
The Erster Weihnachtsfeiertag (First Christmas Day - Dec 25) is the day for the Christmas dinner. Turkey, duck or even goose is served with dumplings, red cabbage together with a glass of white whine.
December 25th and 26th are official holidays, mostly spent with family and friends
December 27 is the day when everyone runs to the malls to return the disliked gifts. :-D
With the beginning of the month December children get an Advent Calendar by their parents. Such a calendar has 24 doors and on December 1 the child can open the first of the doors. When the last door is open it is Christmas Eve.
Behind the doors of the calendar are either pictures, chocolates or wooden toys.
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