The manners and customs of Germany can be surprising. Therefore, we explain the most common and important traditions and celebrations in the country, both on a social and professional level.
Below you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with in this article.
In Germany, the Christmas countdown is important, which is called Advent and lasts four weeks. In the past, fasting was performed, as well as religious activities. Today it is a festive time.
What stands out most of this season is the Advent Calendar, made up of 24 doors behind which a sweet or chocolate bar is often hidden. Every day a different door has to be opened.
On the night of December 5, Nikolaus, the German Santa Claus, arrives at the houses. It leaves sweets and gifts in children's shoes, which are usually placed in the fireplace or behind the door. On the morning of December 6, young people run to see what is in their shoes.
Nikolaus is accompanied by knecht ruprecht (literally, "servant Ruperto"). He wears a dirty tunic and whips children who have not behaved well with his coat. In southern Germany this figure is replaced by the Krampus, the demon of Christmas.
Christmas markets stand out on the streets at this time. Throughout the country more than 150 different ones are assembled. These fairs are made up of small wooden houses decorated and illuminated in which gifts and typical food are sold. On the night of December 24, families celebrate Christmas.
German women and men
Formerly women were relegated to the so-called "3 K": Kids (children), Church (church) and Kitchen (kitchen), barely having space in the workplace.
To this day, German women work in all kinds of positions, although there are some positions in which they predominate more, such as teaching, nursing and cleaning. However, they outweigh men in caring for children and the home.
In some Latin countries, it is common for a man to compliment or whistle at a woman in the street. In Germany this is not a custom and it is never done. You don't even speak directly to a stranger and, in fact, consider yourself to be bad Education.
In the table
At the time of sitting at the table, the guests do not do it until the host indicates in which chair to do so. Similarly, you don't start eating until the owner of the house does.
In the case of restaurants, there are usually reserved tables for frequent customers, so people who have not been to this one do not use them. These tables are indicated with a sign that says Stammtisch, which means "table reserved for regular customers."
The cutlery they use is continental style. To signal that they have finished eating, they place them parallel to the right of the plate. The napkin is placed on the lap at the moment they are going to start. It is rude to rest your elbows on the table, it can only be done during breaks.
To wish good luck, the words are said Gutten Appetite. In the case of providing there are two different expressions, For the benefit! o Bottom up!, the latter being more typical when it is served with beer.
Love and marriage
A loving custom that Germans carry out on February 14, Valentine's Day, is to give their partner the figure of a pig, which can also be made of chocolate. Although it doesn't seem like a very romantic option, this animal is said to attract good luck.
Before getting married, as in many other countries, the couple celebrate their bachelor or bachelorette party separately. Furthermore, in some areas of the country, the groom's best friend "kidnaps" the bride to take her to a bar. When the groom finds them, he must pay the bill.
The day before the wedding the call is made Bachelor Parties. In this party, to which it is not necessary to be invited, all the assistants break dishes. Then it is the bride and groom's task to pick up the remains from the ground, a fact that symbolizes teamwork.
If the couple decide to marry in the Church, they must do so in advance in the Civil Registry so that the wedding is totally legal and formalized. Whether it is a religious or civil wedding, on the way out rice is thrown at the bride and groom. Some people are just invited to the banquet.
Another marriage tradition is that the bride and groom, once married, must cut a log placed on an easel with a double-handled saw, as a symbol of the first difficulty they overcome as a couple. It is common for the wedding to be thematic. The place, the costumes, the decoration and the menu will be related to the chosen motif.
Once at the ceremony, a popular action in the Nürnberg area is for the newlyweds to toast and drink from a giant glass called brautbecher, which symbolizes the union between them. Also, in northern Germany they taste a wedding soup made with broth and beef dumplings.
Germany claims to be one of the countries with the best educational systems in the world. This is due to the pedagogical traditions of the country and the way of educating children from an early age.
In kindergarten or Kindergarten, the little ones live with other children of different ages so that they are independent and responsible. Likewise, the school takes into account the overall performance of the student so that it passes the course.
Physical activity is promoted, in order to prevent childhood obesity, as well as improve sociability among young people and mental well-being. Young children are not encouraged to read, but to play and learn.
A strange custom is that young people do not celebrate the end of the year, but rather the beggining of this one. It is a psychology tool for children to see learning as something positive.
Easter and Holy Week are Christian celebrations by which the resurrection of Jesus Christ is celebrated. However, it also has a pagan origin: that of welcoming spring.
A tradition of Easter in Germany is that of the supposed rabbit that hides painted eggs. Searching and finding these objects is an adventure for children. A typical meal is the sponge cake in the shape of a lamb or paschal lamb.
Likewise, on Easter Saturday the custom of fires remains. It consists of lighting large bonfires to completely drive away winter. Easter Sunday should be the first Sunday after the first spring full moon.
New Years Eve and New Years
Germans have a habit of saying goodbye to the year that can be considered quite rare, and that is to watch a British short called Dinner for one, which is about an old lady's 90th birthday.
This sketch it first aired in 1963 and the reasons for its success remain a mystery. However, on December 31 it is broadcast by several television networks at the same time.
On New Year's Eve parties are usually organized and you cannot miss the Fireworks, especially in big cities. In Berlin, people concentrate on the Brandenburg Gate.
When the new year arrives, the Germans play the game of lead-pouring. They melt lead on a spoon with a candle, pour the liquid into a glass and read it as if they were coffee grounds, predicting how the year will be.
The German culinary tradition is made up mostly of pork, beef and chicken. It is the basis of their diet and an essential ingredient in their typical food dishes.
It is very common to eat Bratwurst or German sausage, both as a main dish and to accompany it. We also find the pork knuckle and the q, a savory cake made with cheese, cream and egg that comes from the French gastronomy.
Cafeterias and patisseries are typical, where you usually have a coffee or hot drink while enjoying a carrot cake, an apple cake or some Berliners.
Germany's quintessential drink is beer and it is a good companion for your dishes. In each region they produce it in a different way. It is usually served in half-liter jugs.
On October 31 the Germans have a double celebration, since in addition to Halloween, it is the Reformation Day, in which Martin Luther is honored. For this reason, in some federal states it is a national holiday.
As for Halloween, this habit came to the country about 15 years ago. It is celebrated especially by the youngest, who dress up and go house to house saying the phrase «trick or treating? ”, The equivalent of“ trick or treat ”.
A destination in high demand at this time is the frankenstein castle, which is 40 kilometers from Frankfurt. On December 31 there is a party only suitable for people over 15 years old.
Boys and girls are not given homework on their birthdays. In this way they can celebrate their own party, in which everything will be decorated to the taste of the protagonist.
When the birthday begins, a family member lights the same number of candles as the person's birthday. At the end of the day, the birthday boy blows out the candles while making a wish. If you turn them all off, the wish will be fulfilled.
Another very curious custom is that if a man turns thirty and remains single, he must go sweep the stairs of the city hall while his friends throw rubble. To stop sweeping, you must get a girl to kiss you.
At some parties, Germans wear their typical clothes. One of the best known is the Dirndl, traditional from the south. It is a kind of dress made up of several garments, originally from the cleaning women of the XNUMXth century.
In the case of men, a basic piece is the leather pants, pants made with leather that have suspenders. They are typical of the alpine areas.
These pants are part of the costume, a suit also consisting of a hat, jacket, vest and shoes. They are usually made of linen or loden to keep you warm in the cold months.
It is the most popular beer festival in Germany and the most famous in the whole world. It has been organized in Munich since 1810. It begins on the first Saturday after September 15 and lasts between 16 and 18 days.
The Germans are dressed in the typical clothes that we have explained previously. The appointment takes place in the field Theresienwiese, which welcomes more than six millions of visitors.
To inaugurate the celebration, there is a parade led by the mayor and accompanied by a marching band. At 12 p.m., the mayor uncovers the first barrel of beer, and twelve cannon shots are fired.
The protagonist of this festival is beer, of which millions of liters are consumed each edition. However, it is accompanied by popular local products, such as sausages.
Protocol and greetings
If you are invited to a party or event, it is important to bring a gift as a form of appreciation. However, you should not give red roses, unless you want to make a declaration of love.
La puntuality it is the basis of German society; therefore, people arrive at the appointed time, neither later nor sooner. For them, being late is a sign of being rude.
When it comes to talking to others, young people are used to being familiar with each other. But in the case of addressing a stranger or an elderly person, it is about you and is spoken to with good manners. "You" in German is said "du"While" you "is" «.
Also, to say hello you never kiss twice, as Germans need their personal space. Therefore, the correct formula is to give a handshake, but not to accompany it with a hug or pat on the back.
Business and trade customs
When doing business in Germany, the most important thing is that you give clear ideas, with facts and figures. Negotiations can be tough, but they are always effective.
They usually wear formal clothes, especially suits, and address the rest of the people by their last name or the title they hold to express respect. When they finish a meeting, they don't usually clap, but rather they give blows on the table with the knuckles.
In most jobs, the workday is short but productive. There is a marked hierarchy and organization in which there is no room for spontaneity or improvisation.
German traditions in South America
During the nineteenth century there was an important immigration of Germans to countries in South America such as Chile or Peru, which caused some of their traditions to spread in these territories.
In the case of Argentina, the Germans who had previously emigrated to the Volga area arrived, in Russia. They are concentrated in towns such as the Aldea de San Antonio, and they continue to make dishes such as sauerkraut and celebrate beer festivals.
Large numbers of Germans also emigrated to Mexico. One of the areas in which they concentrated was in Chiapas, specifically in the Soconusco region, founding towns such as Nueva Alemania.
In Chile they settled mainly in the south. His ideas and customs were very influential in the region, even introducing modifications in the educational system, the army and architecture.
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