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Germany - Diversity in the Heart of Europe

World  (tags: Germany, people, places, travel )

- 1864 days ago -
Germany is a wonderful country with hardworking, but fun loving citizens. Most people from other countries agree that German people generally are the hardest workers.


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Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 9:33 am
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Germany is a wonderful country with hardworking, but fun loving citizens. Most people from other countries agree that German people generally are the hardest workers. After their work is completed, they really know how to throw a party. Here are some facts about German festivals you may not know about.

----5 Facts You Might Not Know

1) The Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany takes place every year and is famous all over the world. Not only is it the largest beer festival in the world, it dwarfs all other beer festivals in beer consumption volumes as well. On average, the patrons that come to celebrate Oktoberfest consume more than 15 million litters of various types of beer. Organizers of the Oktoberfest provide giant tents, each with a bandstand and many long solid wood tables. Each day, after the festival opens and until closing time early the next morning, a constant 1,000 people will jam into each tent. Over the course of the festival 9 million people will jam these tents to sing party and drink as much beer as possible.

2) The Bad Durkheim Wine Festival official name is the Wurstmarkt, meaning the sausage market, but sausage is not what this festival celebrates. The real action is the 200,000 bottles of white wine consumed in four days to celebrate another year of great Bad Durkheim area wine production. Held every year, this festival has been keeping alive area traditions for more than 600 years.

3) The Sparkle Festival is one of the most unusual German festivals, (Asparagus Festival), proving that Germans look hard for any reason to have a festival. What really takes place at the Sparkle Fest is more beer and wine drinking, accompanied of course by white asparagus served in various ways. Many localities hold their own Sparkle fests, all over Germany, Schwetzingen, Asparagus World Capital.

4) The Nuremberg Christmas Market and Lebkuchen Festival is something every adult and child should see at least once in their lifetime. People come from all over the world to buy beautiful hand made Christmas ornaments for their Christmas trees and Lebkuchen, a type of ginger bread cake.

5) The Kirshwasser Festival is held somewhere in the Black Forest every winter when the weather is at its coldest. Kirshwasser is a type of cherry brandy so the festival is the world's largest giant schnapps, German liqueur, tasting party. Schnapps are powerful shot glass sized drinks of fermented fruit with very high alcohol content.

Other information about Germany:

The name Germany is derived from the Latin word Germania, which, at the time of the Gallic War (58–51 B.C.E. ), was used by the Romans to designate various peoples occupying the region east of the Rhine. The German-language name Deutschland is derived from a Germanic root meaning volk, or people. A document (written in Latin) from the Frankish court of 786 C.E. uses the term theodisca lingua to refer to the colloquial speech of those who spoke neither Latin nor early forms of Romance languages. From this point forward, the term deutsch was employed to mark a difference in speech, which corresponded to political, geographic, and social distinctions as well. Since, however, the Frankish and Saxon kings of the early Middle Ages sought to characterize themselves as emperors of Rome, it does not seem valid to infer an incipient form of national consciousness. By the fifteenth century, the designation Heiliges Römisches Reich ,or "Holy Roman Empire," was supplemented with the qualifying phrase der deutschen Nation , meaning "of the German Nation." Still, it is important to note that, at that point in history, the phrase "German nation" referred only to the Estates of the Empire— dukes, counts, archbishops, electoral princes, and imperial cities—that were represented in the Imperial Diet. Nevertheless, this self-designation indicates the desire of the members of the Imperial Estates to distinguish themselves from the curia in Rome, with which they were embroiled in a number of political and financial conflicts.

Food in Daily Life. Eating habits in Germany vary by social class and milieu, but it is possible to generalize about the behavior of the inclusive middle class, which has emerged in the prosperous postwar era. Most Germans acquire food from both supermarkets and specialty shops, such as bakeries and butcher shops. Bread is the main food at both breakfast and supper. Breakfast usually includes brötchen, or rolls of various kinds, while supper— called Abendbrot —often consists of bread, sausages or cold cuts, cheese, and, perhaps, a salad or vegetable garnish. The warm meal of the day is still often eaten at noon, though modern work routines seem to encourage assimilation to American patterns. Pork is the most commonly consumed meat, though various sorts of wurst, or sausage, are often eaten in lieu of meat. Cabbage, beets, and turnips are indigenous vegetables, which are, however, often supplemented with more exotic fare. Since its introduction in the seventeenth century, the potato has won a firm place in German cuisine. Favorite alcoholic beverages are beer, brandy, and schnapps. German beers, including varieties such as Pilsner, Weizenbier, and Alt, are brewed according to the deutsche Reinheitsgebot, i.e., the German law of purity from the sixteenth century, which states that the only admissible ingredients are water, hops, and malt. Large family meals are still common at noontime on Saturdays and Sundays. These are often followed in mid-afternoon by Kaffee und Kuchen, the German version of tea time.

Food Customs at Ceremonial Occasions. Special meals usually include meat, fish, or fowl, along with one of a number of starchy foods, which vary by region. Examples of the latter include klöße (potato dumplings), knödel (a breadlike dumpling), and spätzle (a kind of pasta). Alternatively, Germans often celebrate in restaurants, which often feature cuisines of other nations. Greek restaurants tend to be more moderately priced, French restaurants are often more expensive, and the especially popular Italian restaurants span the range of price categories. The most important holiday meal is Christmas dinner. Regional and family traditions vary, but this often consists of goose, duck, or turkey, supplemented by red cabbage and potatoes or potato dumplings.

Basic Economy. Since the late nineteenth century, the German economy has been shaped by industrial production, international trade, and the rise of consumer culture. Consequently, the number of people involved in agricultural production has steadily declined. At the end of the twentieth century, only 2.7 percent of the German workforce was involved in agriculture, forestry, and fishery combined. Nevertheless, 48 percent of the total area of Germany was devoted to agriculture, and agricultural products covered 85 percent of domestic food needs.

Read more:

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 9:34 am

Let's try to remember this is a virtual travel experience and not a political debate. Thanks.

Ben O (135)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 10:05 am
OK, then I just say; -So far I've been to Hamburg 7 times. I've also been once to Bremen and Munich...

Rana Sinha (50)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 10:08 am
Good story!

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 10:13 am

Ben? You haven't been to Berlin? I'm surprised.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:26 pm
:D -well guess who's already there! thx Kit! I'll withhold myself from this-let others step ahead :) ;) Enjoy!

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:27 pm
Ki-Berlin has no harbour-not one on open sea ;) ^^

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:27 pm

I thought you just might add some great information Angelika.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:28 pm
sorry for the shortcut :-) Kit

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:29 pm
Kit-if in turns YOU add some great information on the posts of others for me .. ;) (maybe later)

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 12:33 pm
I think -after just a brief fly-over the post-I will add something not given consideration there-some differences STILL existing between the populations of former East Germany and that of "the West",even in regard of food consumption.

Howard Crosse (21)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:38 pm
I have only visited Germany once, a few days in Cologne, but it was a very enjoyable holiday. I found the restaurants and hotels to be of a very high quality and the people were, without exception, friendly and helpful, even though I speak no German and my wife's ability in the language is limited to what she learned at school. All in all I really licked the country and plan to go back for a longer stay one day, probably as part of a wider tour of Northern Europe.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:46 pm
Thanks Howard :) -no wonder it is so clean!

Howard Crosse (21)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 1:51 pm
Oh dear, thanks Angelika, I did of course mean that we liked the country. Had we attempted to lick even part of it I suspect that we would end up with very sore tongues! On a more serious note, yes it is very clean (parts of the UK, where I live, could learn a lesson regarding this point!).

pam w (139)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 2:01 pm
Try to go to Bavaria at Christmas. They have wonderful markets, lots of hot wine ( gets COLD there!) and the children are adorable with apple-red cheeks, mufflers and mittens!

Deb E (63)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:17 pm
I LOVE Germany!! Only had two weeks to spend there and wish I could go back.

Barbara K (61)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:33 pm
Wow, what a beautiful country. Thanks, my friend for another vacation via computer. My son was stationed in Germany 3 times and always liked the people and they visited every place they could. I got pics. lol

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 3:54 pm
I just HAVE to star each and everyone on this thread ! :)
@ Howard-yes of course that was clear- still, thanks for the good laugh!

Pat B (356)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:00 pm
Beautiful tour. One thing I noticed, is that everywhere we went, it was so clean.!! BTW, My father, (before he passed away), would have moved to Germany if he had had the chance to. He went to Germany twice, and he fell in love with Baden-Württemberg, and Hanau, he said the people were so friendly. What a wonderful visit, I'd love to go there one day. Thanks, Kit for our great trip.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:04 pm
americans will and have particularly loved our many historic and ancient sites-something the US is not so blessed with.
To briefly add as for the food: it is fact that the former East German population-I should use the term "new countries" as is referred to over here- have a many times larger consumption of pork, also meat in general. Many of them are still trying to preferably stick to what they were used to in GDR days, while the young generation has quickly adapted the alternative foods variety obtainable after re- unification.
The chapter about famous German variety of "wurst" could be extended, don't know how many hundreds of different sorts there actually are. (I'm a cheese freak-don't care much about sausages, meat etc)

The traditional "Beoetchen" breakfast seems to not die out, but more and more people haveturned to cerials and other more healthy breakfasts. Germans prefer black bread to wheat stuff and like the Russians, we also have a huge selection of black bread.
That's it for now-enuff! :)

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:07 pm
OH-I forgot ONE item: the all famous "SAUMAGEN" (means the stomach of a saw -yuck) which was Ex chancellor Kohl's favorite dish and was also served to Obama when he was in Berlin. Supposed to be a highly valued delicatessen when prepared right. (look it up if you like)

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:25 pm
Really a great pick Kit-thx again! Would you believe I've actually been to every place introduced there EXCEPT in Munich itself! LOL (maybe because Berlin has it's own" Hofbraehaus";) -though I'm no beer drinker)
My cousin used to work for DW (Deutsche Welle TV)-no wonder such a great video here :D !

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 4:28 pm
"smart up your business- Germany invest" -sounds familiar? :D - strange that I appear to be the ONLY German here in our "C2 family".

Kit B (276)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 5:49 pm

I watched an interesting show about Germany and Bavaria. They seem to have kept the old traditions of hand-crafts.

Vallee R (280)
Wednesday January 8, 2014, 5:57 pm
Wonderful - thanks/ Love these =-

Caroline S (78)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 4:31 am
Thank you! This video made me happy and sad at the same time...My father was German and he wanted to go back and visit Germany after 10 years-absence but he didn't have time :*-((
But I have very good memories of my visits to Germany: Speyer, Heppenheim,Memmingen, Marburg, and especially München. And I LOVE german cakes :-))

Rhonda B (99)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 7:18 am
Thank You! :)

bob m (32)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 7:24 am

this IS about "diversity, multiculturalism ) it not?.. or is it a collage of travel agency taqiyya completely barren of reality.

Abdessalam Diab (145)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 9:22 am
Thanks Kit for this post. Unfortunately I didn't visit Germany . one of the countries I still hope to visit.

Marija M (25)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 12:25 pm
Thank you for the opportunity to remember some of those places, this way

M B (62)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:11 pm
I like Germany too, esp. Berlin, and I love the many different kinds of breads. I love to drink" Berliner Weiße" (beer)with "Waldmeister", (or with the red version). And I love the "Berliner schnautze", (special kind of humor).

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:35 pm
My Anspachs left the motherland in 1709..I won't go back until they promise me that castle..;) My youngest has visited a few times & worked in Frankurt a couple of months, he loved it! But it was too far from family, so he's only an hour away now!:)

Birgit W (160)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:36 pm
You just made me feel homesick Kit. Thank you very much for sharing this video with us.

Angelika R (143)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:44 pm
Yes of course, there is also BIRGIT-she sadly just never speaks too much here ;)
And Monka-looks like you're describing me there :D

Angelika R (143)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 2:49 pm
LOL Yvonne-I don't think your chances look too good ;)

Yvonne White (229)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 3:00 pm
Figures..;) I'm sure there's a Reason we were run out of all the best countries!;)

Theodore Shayne (56)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 3:40 pm
Bavaria is my favorite part of Germany. It's where my mother's people were from and yes I love black bread.

Deb E (63)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 4:34 pm
My husband's family is from Germany - Baden Wurttemberg - Deitenheim. His grandparents were the first ones of his family born here in the United States. When I was there I visited Munich, Nuremberg area and Ansbach, as well as Deitenheim. My son took me to several little towns and the countryside and buildings were beautiful. I really did fall in love with the country and its' people and, of course, Neuschwanstein Castle was fantastic.

Wolfgang W (228)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 4:46 pm
Excellent work, Kit, excellent research! Nothing to complain. Five stars!!!!!
I might add something over the weekend. Dankeschoen!

Patsy Olive (0)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 6:01 pm
Noted Very beautiful country,I would like to go to.

Charlene Rush (79)
Thursday January 9, 2014, 10:02 pm
This is a marvelous film, bringing back exciting memories of my trip to Germany in the early 90's.
I would encourage anyone to vacation there, especially if you can be accompanied by someone who speaks German, when traveling to the small villages
It is a most beautiful country..

Jonathan Harper (0)
Friday January 10, 2014, 4:54 am
I love Berlin

Wolfgang W (228)
Friday January 10, 2014, 10:05 am
Kiel Week (German: Kieler Woche) is an annual sailing event in Kiel, Germany. It is the largest sailing event in the world, and also one of the largest Volksfeste in Germany.[1]


Kiel Week is held annually in the last complete week in June, and opens officially on the preceding Saturday with the official Glasen, followed by the Holstenbummel. The "Soundcheck" is on the Friday before the official opening; it is a music festival across all the stages within the city. Kiel Week ends with a large fireworks display at 11 p.m. on Sunday, fired from pontoons or the quays at the Howaldtswerke, visible all across the Bay of Kiel.

Most ship races begin at the Olympic harbor of Schilksee, also the center of most sporting activities during Kiel Week. As Schilksee is located outside of the inner city and most sailing competitions take place yet further out, only some races - mainly of smaller boat types - can be viewed from shore, namely from along the Kiellinie at the west coast of the Bay of Kiel.

Kiel Week usually gathers around 5,000 sailors, 2,000 ships, and about three million visitors each year. The event is organized in joint effort by the Yacht Club of Kiel, the Norddeutscher Regattaverein, the Hamburger Sailing Club, and the Verein Seglerhaus am Wannsee.

While Kiel Week started out as a ship racing championship, it has long since become a large festival with many popular bands playing on public stages. They often play for free, although the corporate sponsors (many from the Schleswig-Holstein media and telecommunications industry) usually display their involvement prominently. Most of the stages can be found at the Kiellinie (the western side of the Kieler Förde from the Düsternbrook yacht harbor past the Schleswig-Holstein parliament building to the big inner city ferry harbor), and as of late, across the Hoernbridge to the Germania harbor and the Hörn. Another area of rich cultural activity is the city center (Rathausplatz, Holstenbrücke) and the area connecting the city center with the ferry harbor (Alter Markt, Dänische Straße, Schloßpark). Between the public stages and especially on the International Market on the Rathausplatz, food specialties from different countries can be eaten. Small street performances and street comedy are performed in many places. A special children's program is available at the Spiellinie.

Kiel Week is also one of the largest tall ship conventions in Germany, attracting many German and international traditional ships, mainly sailing ships. Many of them spend the week doing day tours out of Kiel, thus berthing much more in view of the festival visitors than the racing boats at Kiel-Schilksee. More than 100 traditional ships and hundreds of yachts usually participate in the Tall Ships Parade (Windjammerparade) on the day before the closing day of the Kiel Week, i.e. usually on the second Saturday of Kiel Week. The Parade was first held in 1972, under the name of Operation Sail, and was organized in celebration of the Olympic Summer Games in Germany that year, whose sailing competitions took place in Kiel. It was the first large gathering of tall ships since the time of the windjammers, and its success led to the annual Parade and to the foundation of the first sail training organization in Germany (Clipper DJS). Today, the Parade is often headed by the Gorch Fock, a sister ship to the German-built USCGC Eagle (WIX-327).

More at:

Angelika R (143)
Friday January 10, 2014, 7:38 pm
Thanks Wolfgang, dankeschön !-a great and worthy add! ..And I already promised to also post about the Berlin Green Week, largest agricultural fair, when it starts on Jan 17.
Kit- would you consider it another "great information" to humbly mention that Germany, as 1 out of only 3 European countries in the euro zone(Finland and I think Liechtenstein are the other 2) got a AAA rating by S&P or perhaps it was Fitch !? ;-)

Colleen L (3)
Friday January 10, 2014, 7:56 pm
Loved the journey. Thanks Kit

Michael Wecke (9)
Friday January 10, 2014, 8:58 pm
Interesting read - especially if you are in the German Diaspora. Nicht nur Du bist Deutsch, Angelika! I watched a fascinating TV series just after Christmas on the the German "Adel" (Nobility)...steeped in history and culture, as the whole of Europe has been for hundreds of years.

Michael Wecke (9)
Friday January 10, 2014, 9:01 pm
...thank you for this article, Kit!

John De Avalon (36)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 2:06 am
Thank you, dear Kit.

Marianne R (95)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 7:57 am
it's my homeland. I try to visit every year

Angelika R (143)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 9:36 am
Michael-thx for the hint-wonderful to get to know some more company here!:) (never saw you before, sorry -guess I was referencing to the most active ones here on Kit's and other stories, while very much aware of the huge German community in the US)

Kathleen R (192)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 10:58 am
Thank you Kit. I was touring Europe in 1983 or 84, based in Garmish Part......(can't remember the rest). Germany is one of my two most beautiful countries to visit. People were wonderful, scenery was out of this world. Awe inspiring to see buildings that are older than my country (USA). The castle was magnificent, Octoberfest was fantastic. Munich was beautiful, Bavaria was like being in heaven. I have no German in me, you don't need it, you just fall in love with the country. My other most beautiful country is Ireland and I got to see both on that tour. Ireland because that's where my ancestors came from. Both countries have the nicest most friendly people also. Thank you for the trip down memory lane Kit.

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 11, 2014, 3:53 pm
Germany is a fabulous country with great diversity. I've visited Berlin a couple times--the last time being in 2003. My mother is there often as her best friend is German and now lives in Hamburg. I plan on visiting again. Oh i loveeeeee the pretzels! Thx Kit

Elvira Escamilla Davila (60)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 1:29 pm

mar l ene dinkins (264)
Sunday January 12, 2014, 3:08 pm

Wolfgang W (228)
Monday January 13, 2014, 10:38 am

JL A (281)
Monday January 13, 2014, 6:49 pm
I've had dreams of castle tours and a Danube Cruise for years--thanks Kit.

Melania P (123)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 12:27 pm
Cool, thanks!

Vallee R (280)
Tuesday January 14, 2014, 2:28 pm
Wonderful - thanks Kit -
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