As the clock edged toward nine thirty in the morning, the stream of villagers dressed in traditional German folk costume passing by our window in Oberammergau, Germany grew. Ladies in elaborate Dirndls and men in Lederhosen pedaled by on their bikes. Some navigated their bikes’ handlebars with one hand, with elaborate wildflower bouquets in theContinue reading “Celebrating Mariä Himmelfahrt Day in Oberammergau, Germany”
In parts of Germany three weeks before Easter, it’s customary to celebrate spring’s return with a summer procession, or Sommertagszug. Believed to have pagan origins, the fest celebrates spring’s return and winter’s banishing. Children take to the streets with sticks adorned with colorful, ruffled ribbons, topped with pretzels and eggs. In Heidelberg, they walk alongContinue reading “Germany’s Sommertagszug Tradition: Greeting Spring & Bidding Farewell to Winter”
Today is International Women’s Day, a commemorative day that’s celebrated in different ways throughout the world. In some countries, the focus is on women’s accomplishments, whereas in others, it is a day to merely show gratitude towards women.
For the ten years I called Heidelberg, Germany home, I was lucky to have a bird’s-eye view when Fasching festivities took the university town by storm, as I’m sure they did today.
Perhaps it is a bit macabre, but I find cemeteries – particularly those in foreign locales – to be fascinating and fitting spots to reflect upon a place’s culture and history, and upon life itself. When my husband and I last visited Paris, we spent several hours strolling through the city’s famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, passing headstones ofContinue reading “Angels, Busts, and Saints Dressed in Snow: A Wintry Visit to Oberammergau’s Cemetery”
Whenever I see Bavarians dressed in traditional German attire, I can’t help but recall a playful prank that my former American colleagues routinely played on friends and family who would come to visit them in Germany. The husband and wife would get laced up in their finest Trachten-wear (German traditional dress consisting of men’s LederhosenContinue reading “Dizzied by a Dazzling Array of Dirndls in Bavaria”
German words have a reputation for being exceedingly long. Sometimes they’re also rather descriptive. The German language’s penchant for precision is perhaps best described in Mark Twain’s humorous essay, The Awful German Language, which you can read here. Twain penned The Awful German Language in an attempt to describe the frustration he felt while learning German. Twain’s essayContinue reading “Twisting Tongues in Bavaria”
An image of a grumpy baby adorns the wall of a bakery in Oberammergau, Germany, enticing customers with the establishment’s promise of a tasty cup of joe. The poster reads: “Still tired? Here, you’ll find really good coffee.”