According to ezinereligion.com, many of the traditions of the German Länder have a religious origin; they are divided between those of Catholic origin and those inspired by Protestant principles and manifest themselves on the occasion of the most important festivities of the year. On all of them dominates that of Christmas, which is the prelude to the feast of St. Nicholas, which falls on December 6. Santa Claus, the great old man with a long beard, strolls through the streets of Germany loved by all the children who confide their wishes to him as the messenger of the Christkind, the true distributor of gifts. Even San Martino, celebrated on 11 November, is expected by children for the distribution of small gifts.
The tradition of the Christmas tree (Weinachtsbaum), proclaimed by San Vilfredo (seventh century) tree of peace, and, according to legend, introduced into Germanic customs by Luther himself. Among the customs that mark the wait for Christmas, there is also that of hanging the Adventskalendar in the houses, an illustrated and colored calendar that includes a prayer, a small gift or a sacred image for each day of Advent that separates from the birth. of Jesus. The markets (Weinachtsmärkt) that take place in many of the main cities are renowned. In many places in Germany, Christmas is also celebrated with sacred representations (taken from the Gospels) which are repeated on Good Friday, recalling the Passion of Christ. The one in Oberammergau is famous, in Bavaria. Also very celebrated on the day of the Epiphany, or the day of Bertha or Frau Holla, our Befana, sometimes symbolically burned on large bonfires. In many southern regions, children go from house to house disguised as three wise men on the evening of the fifth, performing traditional songs. The most popular symbols of Easter are the chocolate hares (Osterhase) and colored eggs (of pagan origin), used for traditional games. The ancient festivals of May, celebrating the awakening of nature, find their maximum splendor on the day of Pentecost, in which there is the custom of decorating houses with greenery and flowers. On the night between 30 April and 1 May in many areas of Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt the Walpurgis Night is organized, a traditional festival designed to exorcise the witches who, according to legend, live on the top of the wooded Harz mountain. But it is a widespread tradition in many other Länder to carry out celebrations and dances around the Maypole on the same night. Oktoberfest it is the event that best embodies the love for fun of the Germans, who gather to eat grilled food and drink plenty of beer; that of Munich enjoys international fame and attracts numerous tourists every year. Equally festive is the carnival, felt in Germany much more than elsewhere and in which Narr (mad) and his partner Spättle-Mädla triumph. Historical reenactments are still widespread and loved: the very famous one of the wedding of 1475 between Louis the Rich and the Polish princess Hedwig. Dances are common throughout the country.
Above all, the Schwertertanz (sword dance) performed on the occasion of the carnival. Popular songs are endless. The Deutscher Liederhort, published in 1893, contains twenty thousand, ranging from Wiegenlieder (lullabies) to Kinderlieder (children’s songs), from Liebeslieder (love songs) to Jägerlieder (hunters’ songs) to finish with Trinklieder (drinkers’ songs). Popular fiction is also held in great esteem, and these traditions are greatly protected also at an institutional level: for example, there are numerous university chairs for teaching popular traditions. A large part in expressing people’s feelings and tastes has craftsmanship. Among the characteristic productions, that of toys, exhibited at the two major Nuremberg fairs in March and December, and equally famous are the wooden cabinets for dolls’ houses (Puppenstube) in Oberammergau, one of the most important wood carving centers, while the Selva Nera produces the traditional cuckoo clocks. Also very famous are German porcelain, Meissen statuettes and Rosenthal services. More popular, but no less characteristic, is the production of ceramics and earthenware with the infinite variety of beer mugs. By Mettlach are the well-known gray mugs, confined in warehouses for fourteen years before being used and increasingly replaced by large glass mugs. The art of glass painting is also renowned. As for clothing, Bavaria is also very famous for traditional jackets and trousers (Loden and Lederhosen). § German cuisine is generally tasty and is the triumph of a very rich variety of cured meats.
Among the best known are the Landleberwürste (of liver), the Feine Leberwürste (very fine pasta with veal, pork and goose liver), the Wienerwürstchen, the Würstel, Frankfurter Würstchen, Munich Weisswurst (white sausage) and enormous Westphalian smoked salami. Soups are widespread, especially with potatoes and fish in the North, creams of chickpeas, leeks, asparagus and barley. The regional cuisine is also rich: Westphalia has the most famous dishes, such as Grosse Bohnen mit Speck, broad beans with lard as a side dish of a very spicy Pfefferpotthast (veal boiled with herbs and drugs). Everywhere known are the Knödel (large potato dumplings, breadcrumbs and diced lard) served with Kalbshaxe (veal hock), Hamburger Steaks (minced meat steaks), Snuten und Poten (snout and pig’s foot) with peas, the many dishes based on pork, in first place on the scale of consumption. Rollmops, raw salted herring with a side of cucumbers, are also very popular. The consumption of sweets and canned fruit and jam is also very widespread. Beer is the queen of drinks and goes well with any German dish. Germany began to manufacture it in the 9th century. and today it produces hundreds of different types, with breweries present in almost every city. In addition to beer, the delicious white wines should be mentioned, especially those of the Rhine, the Palatinate and the Ahr; l ‘ Apfelsaft (apple juice) and the’ Apfelwein (cider). Among the liqueurs, fruit grappas excel.