Culture and Traditions
German history and culture speaks trough its literature, music, cuisine, art, architecture, clothing, and festivals. It is acountry of great writers and poets, philosophers and sophists, musicians and composers. Every educated person reads Goethe and Erich Maria Remarque, listens to the music of Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Richard Wagner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Gustav Mahler, and studies the philosophy of Friedrich Engels, Karl Marks, and Friedrich Nietzsche. These great works have influenced the cultures of almost every country in Europe. We can find traces of German architecture in every European city. Their holiday customs have spread to every country, but philosophical ideas have influenced the political thinking and political order of several European countries from the Early 20th century.
Germans brew beer and everyone knows Germany for its beer festivals, 10 of which take place annually. No other country offers so many types and varieties of beer. Oktoberfest in Munich is traditionally held from late September to the first weekend in October and lasts for 16 days!People come from all over the world to enjoy this festival and try as many types of beer as they can. The second most popular beer festival is held in Stuttgart, and follows Oktoberfest. More than 90 brands of beer are presented each year at the Stuttgart Beer Festival. Certainly one of the oldest beer festivals is Freimarked, which is held in Bremen. The first reference dates back to 1035, and nowadays is celebrated with street parties, music, traditional costumes, and dances.
Most German festvials and holidays are conected with Christian Catholicism and traditional celebrations. Christmas is not just a Christian holiday. Nowadays, it has become a real festival and one of the brightest times of the year in Germany. Christmas celebrations are very dear to Germans, and as Catholics they honour and observe its traditions. For Germans it is a quiet holiday for family reunion and some religious reflection. The main part of the Christmas celebration is Advent, which lasts for 4 weeks before Christmas Eve. In order to follow these four weeks Germans have invented the Advent calendar where small chocolate pieces hidden behind small windows, should be taken out and eaten every day. The calendar was invented for children and this tradition has spread throughout the world. An Advent Wreath or Adventskranz is the second most popular legacy of Germany’s Christmas celebration. Traditionaly it has 4 candles, one of which should be lit every Sunday before Christmas Eve. During the Advent period almost all the streets in Germany are lit with special decorations. The streets are the main arena for Weihnachtsmärkte or Christmas markets,and if you are lucky to be there then you should definitely try traditional some mulled wine or Glühwein.