Native Customs/ Beliefs
- It is customary to bring a bottle of alcohol when staying at someone's home.
- Germans have large, hot lunches and small dinners.
- It is a sign of disrespect to not finish everything on one's plate. It implies the food was undercooked.
- Germans always have meals with water.
The four weeks of Advent are a very special time in Germany. The days are short, and people invite each other over for an Adventskaffee (coffee and cake). A lighted Advent wreath sits on the table and the hosts serve a variety of cookies and special cakes, like stollen, which only show up at this time of year.
Christmas Eve is when presents are shared and people eat fish, often carp. Christmas Day (there’s actually two of them, 25th and 26th) is for visiting family and feasting.
Fasching, Fastnacht, or Mardi Gras, the party before lent starts, is celebrated mostly in the South. Parades and boat races in the freezing waters and weekly masquerade balls are accompanied by the traditional foods such as soft prezels, Kütteln (a soup with cows’ stomach) and deep fried donuts.
Easter Eggs are hidden and found in the snow more often than not. Spring is here, but it’s hard to tell sometimes. Fresh herbs, peas and lamb are the flavors of the day, to remind us that the summer will come, eventually.