Category Archives: Things You Didn’t Know

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

Hiking through the countryside to the Teufelstein

VILSECK, Germany — While COVID-19 is a frustrating obstacle that keeps community members from exploring many wonderous things that Germany has to offer, there are still some hidden gems in the local area that can be explored safely. One of these gems is the Teufelstein Loop, also known as the…

February 11th, 2021 Health & Lifestyle, News, Things You Didn't Know

Santa, Nikolaus or Christkindl: Christmas traditions in Germany

By Johanna Lohwasser, USAG Bavaria Public Affairs Editor’s Note: While 2020’s COVID-19 environment changes a few of these traditions, such as St. Nikolaus not making in-person visits and canceled Christmas markets, the spirit of these customs continues on.   Germany’s original Christmas gift-bearer St. Nicholas — Sankt Nikolaus in German…

December 3rd, 2020 Holiday, News, Things You Didn't Know

Amberg: A city full of rich history

AMBERG, Germany — Located only 30 minutes from Vilseck is the beautiful city of Amberg. It is full of rich history and locations ripe for exploration.   City tours are usually conducted by the Tourist-Information Center, but they are currently not available due to COVID-19. Instead, visit many of the…

December 2nd, 2020 News, Things You Didn't Know, Travel

German traditions similar to Halloween

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Halloween is gaining popularity in Germany, with many local nationals celebrating it in the same fashion as those living in the United States. But before Halloween, Germans long celebrated a similar holiday in April, called Hexennacht.   Halloween was introduced to Germany in the 1990s, according to…

October 16th, 2020 Holiday, News, Things You Didn't Know

Marten: A misunderstood pest and how to deter from vehicle wiring

  By Christa Rolls, USAG Bavaria Environmental Division   GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — If you have been in a local car shop, you’ve likely seen products that tout a hissing, ferret-like animal on the front cover, warning of their presence.   Martens, or Marder in German, notoriously damage vehicle electrical systems…

January 17th, 2020 Environmental, Health & Lifestyle, Housing, News, Things You Didn't Know

Customs releases holiday guidance on what not to mail

By U.S. Army Customs Agency-Europe   WIESBADEN, Germany — People new to Europe should note that many items available in Europe may seem like good Christmas presents, but violate U.S. customs rules.   Some products are banned from the United States and others may only be carried in baggage, but…

November 26th, 2019 Environmental, Health & Lifestyle, News, Things You Didn't Know

Status of Forces Agreement: Tax relief in Germany

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Supplementary agreement to the NATO Status of Forces Agreement affords some tax breaks to personnel under orders to be in Germany.    Department of Defense personnel stationed in or temporarily assigned to Europe may be eligible to use the U.S. Forces Tax-Relief Program to avoid paying…

October 23rd, 2019 Legal Issues, News, Things You Didn't Know

Giant House Spider: harmless to humans, helpful to the environment

  By Christa Rolls, USAG Bavaria Environmental Division   GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Now that autumn is upon us and the days are getting colder, animals of all kinds, including us humans, seek warmer locales to survive the blustery cold.   One such creature we’re likely to find more often in…

October 7th, 2019 Environmental, Health & Lifestyle, News, Things You Didn't Know