Author: Molly Hayden

Things you didn’t know: Easter traditions in Germany

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — When it comes to celebrations in Germany, colorfully decorated trees are not just for the Christmas season.   Roughly four weeks before Easter, which falls on April 4, 2021, handcrafted eggs dangle from the branches of birch trees — symbolizing new life and fertility. Towns of all…

March 27th, 2021 Health & Lifestyle, News, Things You Didn't Know

Farmers’ markets offer healthy alternatives

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Growing everything from the famous white asparagus to the eponymous Hallertau hops, Bavaria continues to be the most important agricultural state and the largest producer of food in Germany.   But farming in Bavaria is more than sustenance, it’s tradition.   For centuries, townspeople have flocked to…

March 19th, 2021 Health & Lifestyle, News, Things You Didn't Know

Bathe in beer in the Czech Republic

  By Molly Hayden, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs   CHODOVA PLANA, Czech Republic — While German culture is bathed in mores of beer, their neighbors to the east have taken it one step further — by literally bathing themselves in beer.   Tucked away in the Bohemian town of Chodova…

October 12th, 2016 Travel

Athens: A modern day glimpse at ancient history

  ATHENS, Greece — Influences of American and European culture as we know it started centuries ago with toga-clad Greeks as they meddled in mathematics, dabbled in democracy and flirted with philosophy, creating an unprecedented civilization.   Advances to the technological age could not have happened without our neighbors to…

September 26th, 2016 Travel

Things you didn’t know: Maypoles in Germany

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Flowers have started to bloom, the sun has finally (yes, finally) peeked out from behind the winter clouds and the sound of chirping birds fills the air. Yes, spring is in the air, summer is following closely behind, and in Germany, the first of May is a…

April 13th, 2016 Things You Didn't Know

Things you didn’t know: Sundays in Germany

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The term “lazy Sunday” originated well before Andy Samberg decided to rap about it on Saturday Night Live, but living abroad will bring a heightened awareness to the fitting phrase.   Here in Germany, Sundays are sacred. Shops are closed and the hustle and bustle of town…

March 21st, 2016 Things You Didn't Know

Things you didn’t know: German Bockbier…for monks, it’s what’s for dinner

  MUNICH — While I can’t pinpoint the origin of this story, it’s not going to stop me from telling it. And, according to numerous tourism sites and “legend,” it’s true. Promise.   The story goes something like this: In the early 16th century, Paulaner monks of the Neudeck ob…

March 3rd, 2016 Things You Didn't Know

Weiberfasching: Where women are king

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — One day each year, women around Germany officially rule the roost during Weiberfasching.   Celebrated on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday — which is Feb. 10, 2016 — Weiberfasching (meaning women’s carnival) marks the transition from the Fasching fest season into the Lenten season leading up to…

February 1st, 2016 News

Things you didn’t know: Fasching is Germany’s most colorful time of year

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — It officially began on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 a.m., but the hoopla is just around the corner.   Fasching is Germany’s carnival season, a time of festivity and merrymaking.   It’s an excuse to break rules (and poke fun at those who…

January 29th, 2016 Things You Didn't Know

Language need not be a barrier in Germany

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Moving to a new country yields an obvious learning curve, and Germany is no exception. Driving on the autobahn for the first time often warrants a brief word with the Almighty, and seeing the word “Ausfahrt” larger than life will no doubt expel fits of laughter.  …

November 23rd, 2015 News