HOLIDAYS IN GERMANY (2017 | Issue 1)

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German Tradition Trail

Germany’s 16 states have their own distinct identity. Each one has a unique flavour, evident in the local traditions, festivals and attire. What’s Up, Germany? brings you snapshots of the sheer diversity that can be seen and enjoyed—from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Bavarian Alps in the south.

Bavarian Mode - German traditional Dress Facts

This traditional dress consists of a fitted bodice and a puff-sleeved blouse worn over a long skirt and apron. The dirndl worn during summer has short sleeves and is made of cotton, while the winter variation has long sleeves and is made of a thicker fabric.

Northern Nuance - German traditional dress facts

Men in northern Germany wear white overcoats with a red lining (kittel), accompanied by knee breeches (büxen) and blue stockings for traditional ceremonies and processions.

Southern Style - German traditional dress facts

These hardy leather pants with suspenders come in varying lengths. The men usually wear them with rustic shoes, thick socks and round-collared trachten jackets.

Black Forest Beauty - German traditional dress facts

This hat with 14 pom-poms has become a symbol of the Black Forest region. Unmarried women wear red bollenhuts, while married women distinguish themselves by wearing black ones. These white straw hats can weigh up to two kilos!

Spreewald Special - German traditional dress facts


Located in the state of Brandenburg, Spreewald’s population is an interesting mix of Germans and Sorbs. A typical Sorbic dress is a white lace apron worn over a bright-coloured skirt topped with a pastel-coloured scarf.

List of German Festivals-2017

Oktoberfest - List of German Festivals 2017


A must on any tourist’s itinerary, Oktoberfest is a beer lover’s dream come true. Held in Munich in September (not in October, unlike what the name suggests!), this festival attracts over six million tourists from all over the world every year! During this 16-day revelry, locals dressed in traditional clothes gather in huge tents, ravenous for beer and sausages! This Bacchanalian celebration started in October 1810 at the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese.

Easter - German Festivals 2017


The legend of the egg-bearing Easter bunny originated in Germany. Easter Sunday usually begins with a breakfast of hard-boiled eggs, before the children scamper off to look for eggs hidden by the Easter bunny (or so they think!). In the evening, families usually feast on roasted lamb. Huge Easter bonfires are also lit to welcome spring.

Carnival - German Festivals 2017


One of the most celebrated events in Germany is the carnival. Huge parades with floats hit the streets, as does everyone! It’s a time of wild celebrations, especially in Cologne, Düsseldorf and Mainz. If you happen to be visiting during carnival season, it’ll be an unforgettable experience!

Almabtrieb - German Festivals 2017


This annual Bavarian tradition of escorting a procession of cows down into the valley usually takes place in September and is a sight to behold. The cows are elaborately decorated with big bells, and there is much song and dance. Booths selling agricultural and artisans’ products are put up, so you might want to keep your purse and camera handy!

Christmas - German Festivals 2017


This festival is a big deal in Germany (even the Christmas tree or Tannenbaum originated there). The season kicks off in early December. On St Nicholas’ Eve or Nikolaustag, children hang their shoes outside the front door in the hope that the saint will leave treats for them, and not twigs, which are reserved for naughty children! Festivities continue, with charming Christmas markets that look like they’ve been copy-pasted from a fairy tale!

Images from the German National Tourism Board (DZT): Bollenhut © DZT/Baden-Württemberg Tourismus Marketing GmbH; Easter © DZT/Hans R Uthoff; Oktoberfest © DZT/Pierre Adenis; Christmas © DZT/ Torsten Krüger; Images from Colourbox: Dirndl, Lederhosen, Carnival, Almabtrieb; Images from Wikimedia Commons: Kittel & Büxen (Brunswyk); Sorb dress (Dundak)

Facts about Germany

  1. Don’t wish a German happy birthday in advance. It’s considered bad luck!
  2. When answering the phone, don’t be surprised if someone picks up announcing their surname. That’s what Germans do. They announce their last name before saying hello!
  3. Dogs can go just about anywhere: buses, trains, cafés, restaurants, bookstores!
  1. Germans are superstitious about leaving windows open. They believe air draughts can cause ailments like the flu or joint pains.
  2. School children get huge cones filled with candy and toys on the first day of first grade. This tradition goes back to the 1800s!
  3. Germans have their own unique Valentine’s Day gift option: pigs that come in all shapes and sizes on cards or chocolate, as small figurines or stuffed toys, since they are considered lucky—and lusty!

German Traditional Facts

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller