Culture

Food

German Bread

As with any nation, German cuisine is largely regional. In the northern regions, you'll find hearty stews like Birnen, Bohnen, und Speck (pear, bean, and bacon) as well as pork and fish dishes. In the south of Germany, Bavaria's regional cuisine is what most foreigners associate with German cooking. Meals like Wiener Schnitzel and Schweinebraten are typical in many German restaurants in America. Central Germany is known for its potato dishes and ham. Yet perhaps the most important part of a German diet is Brot (bread). Germans love bread. It's usually eaten for breakfast or as a sandwich and is rarely served as a side dish. The importance of bread in German culture can even be seen in their vocabulary. Words like Abendbrot and Brotzeit are used to denote everyday meals.

Sports

Soccer

When you think of Germans and sports, the first thing that comes to mind is typically soccer or Fussball. Not surpising, considering Germany's four FIFA World Cup wins and the thousands of amateur soccer clubs all over the country. Perhaps second in line to soccer is the German love of tennis. The country is known for producing world tennis champions like Boris Becker and Stefi Graf. From the country that gave us the Autobahn and car brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, motorsports, like Formula 1 racing, are fairly popular in Germany as well. However, if spectator sports aren't really your thing, maybe it's best if you take a hike. Literally. Germans are known for their love of the outdoors and even have a special name for it: wanderlust. There are around 200,000 kilometers of hiking trails in Germany.

Holidays and Traditions

Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest

A tradition in southern Germany dating back to the 1800s, Oktoberfest started when Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese and invited the whole town of Munich to the wedding reception. People dress in traditional clothes and enjoy music, dancing, and of course, beer during this two week long celebration.

Schulteuten

Candy Cone

A tradition for first grade students dating back to 1810. On their first day of school, children bring their Schultueten (candy cones) to school as part of a welcoming ceremony for new students.

Advent and Christmas

Christmas

From Christmas markets to holiday carols, German Advent and Christmas traditions have been adopted around the world

Easter

Easter

Church services, special meals, huge bonfires, and of course, colorful eggs are just some of the German traditions that mark this time of year

Day of German Unity

Berlin Wall

Commemorating the day when East and West Germany became one Federal Republic of Germany, Tag der Deutschen Einheit has been celebrated each October 3 since 1990.