German Inventions in Everyday Use

By Francine McKenna on Email

There are many German inventors and scientists who have helped to build the country’s reputation as a source of invention and technology. Not all German inventions were patented so were developed elsewhere, and they are not only exclusive cars or chic kitchen appliances but also everyday objects now to be …

Francine McKenna

May Day in Germany, Walpurgisnacht and Maibaum

By Francine McKenna on Email

Long before it became an International Workers Day, Tag der Arbeit or a ‘Socialist Bank Holiday’, May 1st, May Day had roots with the Beltane pagan festival, was a folk tradition, a Celtic Festival of Fire, and for the Romans a time to worship Life, Fertility and New Beginnings. The …

Francine McKenna

White Asparagus Season in Germany

By Francine McKenna on Email

Apple and Grape harvests symbolize Autumn in Germany, and Spargelzeit, the two month white asparagus season, is an eagerly anticipated sign of spring. Depending on the weather, the season for asparagus begins some time in April and lasts until St. John the Baptist’s feast day June 24, and for those weeks the …

Francine McKenna

Friedrich Nietzsche, 19th Century Philosopher

By Francine McKenna on Email

Friedrich Nietzsche’s philosophic quotations have been heard, and perhaps quoted, by many of us. ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger’, is just one of many. A completely different example, ‘A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love’, is perhaps less known nevertheless equally timeless, …

Francine McKenna

The History of The Brothers Grimm

By Francine McKenna on Email

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales, so said Albert Einstein. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were The Brothers Grimm, story tellers and publishers of European folk and fairy tales which were anything but sweet and gentle bedtime …

Francine McKenna

Easter in Germany – The Rabbit, Egg and Ostara

By Francine McKenna on Email

Easter in Germany, Ostern in Deutschland, and a special Easter Bunny joins St. Nicholas and Santa Claus as a holiday gift giver in Germany, Hanni Hase, ‘Hanni Hare’, who for a few weeks every year is inundated with letters sent by children from all over the world. All mailed to Ostereistedt, Easter Egg Town, his …

Photos by George Larcher & SLV

Francine McKenna

Spring in Germany

By Francine McKenna on Email

Fruehlingsanfang, the beginning of Spring in Germany, evenings are lighter, days warmer, if only by a few degrees, and travelling by road, rail or river through Germany can be a ‘Aha-Erlebnis’, a wonderful experience. Wild flowers cover meadows and skirt bases of still snow capped mountains, pink and white almond, cherry and …

Francine McKenna