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What are some unique and special traditions of Germany?In the late 1800s, I am writing...
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Germany presents unity in diversity through its customs, culture and various local and regional traditions. There are many Germany traditions and customs in Germany which is actually born out of the legends and folklores that are in circulation for many centuries. Popular Christmas Traditions: A common belief proclaims that on Christmas Eve wine can be tasted through the river waters, the animals start speaking, precious gems can be found from the mountains and the church bells can be heard only by those who have the purest of hearts. The Weihnachten as Christmas is known in Germany is celebrated with much gusto and enthusiasm. The first of December to the twenty-fourth is known as the Adventszeit or the Advent Season and the Germans observe some of the ancient traditions including children writing letters to Christkindl or the Christ Child, enacting the nativity scenes and visiting the Christkindlmarkt or Christmas Markets. The St. Nicholas's Feats Day celebrates the generosity of the warm saint who gifted the most desired things to all. Following the religious mediaeval plays, the live pine or the fir tree is set up as the Christmas Tree to symbolize the Tree of Paradise. Christmas Eve is known as the "Dickbauch" or "fat stomach" following the custom that those who will not eat properly on Christmas Eve will be haunted by demons and nightmares. Another interesting tradition that is followed in some regions is that of Christmas Pickle. A glass pickle is hidden in the tree and the first child to find out the glass piece will receive an extra gift. Eventful Wedding Traditions: In the early days the bride's furniture were carried to her future home in a cart with driver and musicians. On the threshold, the bridegroom greeted her with a can of beer and the bride gifted him with a pair of shoes and shirt. The "Polterbend" or the wedding eve party is the time where cheap bone china dishes are broken and the occasion continues till the wee hours of dawn. Another commonly followed tradition is known as 'Roping the Couple' where the exit is garlanded with flowers and red ribbons and the bridegroom has to buy their ransom by either giving them money or promise to throw a party with ample foods and drinks. It is considered as bad luck to wear someone else's crown or bonnet before the wedding. At the newlywed's home, the couples share a bite of bread which signifies that there will never be any dearth of food in their homes. Some of the other important festivals speak about specific historical events like Dinkelsbuhl Kinderzeche where the town's children march and plead with the Swedish Army to spare their homes. The time of the Carnival is known as Fasching in all of Southern Germany. The proceedings include the most vibrant street party in Munich. Germany is a lively land of vibrant culture, rich traditions and interesting customs which will make the holiday in Germany engrossing.
Posted by scavenger2 on June 11, 2011 at 2:35 PM (Answer #2)
This is a complex question, mainly because Germany as an entity did not exist until 1871. Your first step in answering the question is to ask yourself whether you are looking for special traditions of one particular state (Bavaria, Prussia, etc.) or common traditions that might have facilitated unification.
Many of the philological studies of northern Europe in the 19th century were devoted to precisely this quest for some overarching unifying linguistic and cultural tradition. (see Olender). In the emerging discipline of folklore, this took the form of searching for traditional oral stories and myths that formed a shared substrate to the national consciousness of the people (volk).
In philology, this took the form of the Indo-European hypothesis, which traced the history of Indian, Greek, Latin, and European languages and religion back to a common ancestor. Max Muller attempted to link Indo-European languages to a common sun god, and was the main source of the argument for the commonality among the German (and Nordic) states of a shared Aryan heritage. His work, unfortunately, was later (mis)appropriated by the Nazis.
Posted by thanatassa on October 22, 2011 at 6:49 AM (Answer #3)
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