Happy German Halloween!
some details here and there is still considered plagiarism. The movie is silent and black and white. One more fun fact: The actor playing Nosferatu (Dracula) is Max Schreck. Schreck is the German word for "scare."
If you like this movie, you may also like: "Das Kabinet des Dr. Caligari." This 1920 movie is the paragon for German expressionism and has been an inspiration for many movies and artists to this day. Tim Burton's early films pay tribute to this movie and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers as well as Rob Zombie have used the movie as inspiration for their music videos.
Happy German American Day!
Click for message from German ambassador Peter Ammon
German-American Day is a holiday in the United States, observed annually on October 6. The holiday, which celebrates German American heritage, commemorates the date in 1683 when 13 German families from Krefeld near the Rhine landed in Philadelphia. These families subsequently founded Germantown, Pennsylvania, the first German settlement in the original thirteen American colonies. Originally celebrated in the nineteenth century, German-American Day died out in World War I as a result of the anti-German sentiment that prevailed at the time. The holiday was revived in 1983.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6th as German-American Day to celebrate and honor the 300th anniversary of German American immigration and culture to the United States. On August 6, 1987, Congress approved S.J. Resolution 108, designating October 6, 1987, as German-American Day. It became Public Law 100-104 when President Reagan signed it on August 18. A proclamation (#5719) to this effect was issued October 2, 1987, by President Reagan in a formal ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, at which time the President called on Americans to observe the Day with appropriate ceremonies and activities. (Wikipedia)
Advent, Advent ein Lichtlein brennt...
Wow, where did November go? I can't believe how fast this month went by and how much closer I am to not only be done with my last semester at West Chester, but also how much closer I am to being home for the holidays.
We had the first snow on Thursday not only in Philadelphia, but also in Münster, where my family lives. If you ask me, it is way too early for this. What it isn't too early for though is to think about the upcoming Adventszeit. That's right - this Sunday is the first advent! For the advent time (the four Sundays before Christmas eve) Germans put out an Adventskranz with four candles. Every Sunday you light one candle, until at the fourth Sunday all candles are lit. Originally this is a Christian tradition, but there are many families who do this for, well decoration, not for the religious reasons. Whatever the reason, it is a nice tradition. My crafty brother actually just started making a modern wood version of this with the help of his wife, who takes care of the decoration. They are selling them with different decorations on their website. Here is what one of them looks like.
I personally love candles and I don't think that there should be any reason to put this away right after Christmas. It just becomes part of your own winter wonderland in your living room. Gemütlichkeit is the keyword here!
One tradition that I love more than anything is the Advenskalender. Who doesn't like to open a little present every day? And I have been pretty spoiled when it comes to this, as our Adventskalender are always hand-filled with nothing but our favorite candy or little treats. Noticed how I said are, instead of were? That's because my mom still makes me one every year. I am spoiled!
There are so many different Adventskalender in all shapes and forms and it can be a lot of fun for crafty people to make their own. The Norddeutsche Rundfunk (NDR) has a great idea for a decorative Adventskalender, all together with a description on how to make it. Click here to view the video (German). Or how about this one, shown in the picture below?
This Adventskalender from vital-genuss.de is also easy to make, cute to look at and made from environmentally friendly products. Just click on the picture to get to their website and the instructions (German).
I hope that this might inspire someone to get crafty and make their own Adventskalender, rather than buying the, may I say, boring one that is already filled with the same chocolate everyday. I'd love to post a picture of the snowman Adventskalender that I made years back, but unfortunately it's still in Germany as it was too heavy and big to take with me when I moved. But maybe if I can find any time within the next couple days, I will make this one from vital-genuss. I will just need someone to come and fill it for me...
Glühwein, Lebkuchen, Adventskränze
typischer deutscher Weihnachtsmarkt
With the holidays right around the corner, it is a nice time to learn more about some German traditions. The pre-Christmas time is easily my favorite holiday time in Germany. Trees are decorated with little white lights (very few families use colored lights), the smell of Mohnkuchen, Lebkuchen, Glühwein and Kinderpunsch is in the air and friends and families are getting together from all over the country - or in my case - from all over the world. It's the one time in the long winter months that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside even though it is usually cold and dark outside.
One of the best German traditions is the German Weihnachtsmarkt. Depending on the size of the town the Weihnachtsmarkt might last from a single weekend up to a whole month. There are many little wooden houses that are put up and decorated with evergreen tree branches, white lights and Christmas ornaments. They sell food, handmade items, Christmas decoration, hot drinks and much more. It always makes for a great night to go for a stroll with some friends, eat something, enjoy some hot chocolate or hot wine and look for some items to decorate your house with.
Unfortunately, not all of us can go to Germany to take part in this wonderful event, but there are some similar events, right here in PA. There is the Bethlehem Christkindlmarkt every Thursday through Sunday from November 26th to December 19th. Another Weihnachtsmarkt is right in front of City hall in Philadelphia. The Christmas Village in Philadelphia opens its doors from November 25th until December 24th. While certainly not as great as the original, the events are worth checking out. Enjoy some German treats and get into the spirit!
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