When I was a kid in Germany , before Christmas there was "Advent"-time.
The Christ-Child comes on Christmas Eve and delivers all the presents."Usually" it comes and goes secretly,but "sometimes" you hear a little bell ringing...
What "Santa Claus" is in the USA , "ST.NIKOLAUS" is in Germany. He actually comes before Christmas , on the Eve of December 5th , to bring presents and to let you know what you have done good or bad in the past year.He has it all written down in a big golden book.
Children , who remember to put their boots in front of their door will find little goodies in them the morning of December 6th - a sign that St. Nickolaus stopped by once more!
Some Personal Winter Memories Of Mine:
On Easter morning children in Germany go out into the garden where the "EASTER BUNNY" has hidden brightly colored boiled Eggs, chocolate eggs and other goodies. Sometimes they find only one egg at a time or a little basket hidden behind a tree, in the grass or between (or behind) spring flowers.
If the weather is not so good the "Easter Bunny" hides the Easter goodies in the house behind and under furniture and sometimes leaves something on the table, too.
Often children will get new clothes that holiday.
It is also tradition to give an "Easter Lamb" (a cake in form of a lamb or a chocolate version) to remind each other on "The Lamb of God"¨: Jesus Christ.
As pathetic as it sounds, German families will often eat rabbit
St. Martin was roman Soldier who unlike most of his kind helped the poor.
The legend goes that he rode his horse through ice and snow when he spotted a beggar on the side of the road whom was half frozen. So Martin took his sword and cut his cape in half and gave one half to the beggar.
In Germany St. Martin is honored every year on the 11th of November with a parade for his great generosity.
Here are the lyrics for the St. Martin’s Song: St. Martin St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin ritt durch Schnee und Wind, sein Roß, das trug ihn fort geschwind. St. Martin ritt mit leichtem Mut, sein Mantel deckt ihn warm und gut. Im Schnee, da saß ein armer Mann, hatt' Kleider nicht, hatt' Lumpen an: "Oh helft mir doch in meiner Not, sonst ist der bitt're Frost mein Tod!" St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin zieht die Zügel an, sein Roß steht still beim braven Mann. St. Martin mit dem Schwerte teilt den warmen Mantel unverweilt. St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin gibt den halben still, der Bettler rasch ihm danken will. St. Martin aber ritt in Eil hinweg mit seinem Mantelteil.
Here’s a good link related to St.Martin:
And here you find many songs and a few recipes: (German)
This is kind of a fifth season for people in Germany. It originates from medieval times when people believed they could scare away the evil and gruel spirits of winter with lots of noise and scary masks.
Other than the parades there is different events where Buettenreden are held. Those are speeches that again give praise or critics to politicians and other popular people in a funny kind of way.
Main events on the Fasching-calendar are the conquering of the courthouse by the fools (who apply a new peculiar set of funny laws) and the crowning of the Karneval-prince and –princess.
On the last day of the Fasching-season the power is returned to the government officials and the fools retire to come up with new folly ways of celebrating their season during the rest of the year.