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What is the Sandmaennchen? A little Man who Sent German Kids to Dream

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When the Wall separating East Germany from West Germany fell, many of the icons produced by the East vanished, mostly because something different already existed in the West, and the Wessi got to keep its job. There is one BIG exception. The Sandmännchen. What is the Sandmaennchen? And how did he continue to thrive despite […]

Muller Fasching Verein Nordamerika- Bringing Tyrol to Milwaukee

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It turns out, the best time to see witches in Milwaukee is NOT at Halloween… it’s between January 6th and Ash Wednesday, during Fasching/Karneval Season. But the witches are just a supporting role in this performance that goes back 500 years in the Alps of Austria. The 70-member strong Muller Fasching Verein of Nordamerika carries […]

A German Kitchen Witch Brings Good Luck to Your Kitchen!

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When I was growing up, my mother always had a flying Kitchen Witch hanging in the kitchen window. Now, the legend says that a German Kitchen Witch will protect your food as you cook it… no more pots boiling over, no more burnt cakes…. just delicious foods that will nourish your family. Did it work? […]

What is a Bollenhut? That Iconic Black Forest Tracht Hat!

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Above image is Laublehof by Curt Liebich  (1868-1937) Public Domain One of the most iconic images for Germany’s Black Forest is a fresh faced woman wearing a hat covered with red Pom Poms…. a Bollenhut, but, what is a Bollenhut? This stiff straw hat covered in wool Pom Poms is an important part of Tracht. But […]

German Rum Balls Recipe from All Tastes German

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Rumkugeln, German Rum Balls,  have always been my favorites. Just the smell makes me all weak in the knees! When I was a child, my mother would only make them at Christmas. Just one batch. And I would watch and wait for the chance to lick the bowl and the spoon. (I think part of […]

What is the Christkind- The Golden Haired Gift Giver in Germany

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  Even though I grew up in the United States where Santa Claus dominated Christmas… the presents my sister and I got came from the Christkind (or Christkindl) on Christmas Eve. It was magical! We would hide in our bedroom peering out the window…wondering when she would arrive. The Christkind coming was a special delivery […]

German Christmas Treats from All Tastes German

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German Christmas Treats is a wonderful little cookbook from the website All Tastes German. I stumbled across the site, and the cookbook, completely by chance, and I’m just delighted that I did. There are just over 40 recipes in the book, and each one is a gem. Honestly, I could do all of my Christmas […]

German Slippers and House Shoes for Kids and Babies

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  In every German household across the world, there are several common rallying cries from Moms and Omas….”es ZIEHT” (there’s a draft), “iss mal was” (eat something), and most important….”Du kriegst kalte Füße! Zie dir deine Hausschuhe an!!” It’s my understanding that Germans just don’t do bare feet, at least not in Winter. Thankfully, because […]

What is a Rauschgoldengel? The legend of the Golden Angel

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  High above the Plobenhofstraße entrance of the Nuremberg Christkindelmarkt hangs the Rauschgoldengel. This large gold-foil angel is there to welcome all of the guests as a symbol of the market. And all over the market, you will find stalls selling smaller versions of this Golden Angel. But what is a Rauschgoldengel? And how did […]

Where to Buy Lebkuchen- THE German Christmas Cookie

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Let me tell you where to buy Lebkuchen. Because, if you are like me… either too busy, too overwhelmed, or just too lazy to bake Lebkuchen (depending on who is looking at you), you can STILL buy that delicious German Lebkuchen (all the different sorts!) that you crave at Christmastime. Believe me, no one will […]