Learning from a Saint

In the early hours of Saturday the 17th of March 2001, my family and I drove to Staten Island in New York to then take the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan. This is a great way of accessing New York City, especially if you do not want to take your car into the city. Greeted by a beautiful skyline (in this post you can find some beautiful pictures that I took of it in September 2001 a few days before 9/11), we were promised a beautiful day in the city.

Our habit was to walk up from where the ferries land, all the way to Central Park, which was quite a hike, especially for us kids, my sister was 7 and I was 12. Normally we’d go shopping, climb some sky scraper or even go ice skating (at the Rockefeller Center or in Central Park if the season permitted to do so of course), have breakfast, lunch or even dinner depending if the time of the day and length of our stay. Continue reading “Learning from a Saint”

Faulty Memory

My memory is faulty.

Some events that happened a very long time ago are very vivid. While others in a past less distant are only vaguely there or even completely gone.

As it is carnival, I wanted to share some memories, only to realise that there are gaps.

The first seven years of my life were spent in the Rhine region, which is the place to be in Germany if you like Karneval, Conny Kaufmann’s guest post for my series Discovering Traditions is a must read if you want to know more about the Cologne Carnival. Continue reading “Faulty Memory”

A Day For Kings

Yesterday (6th of January), was Epiphany or King’s Day, Königstag in German. I had the pleasure of having Robin Rivera as my guest to share her memories and traditions regarding Epiphany. If you missed her beautiful post, the second of Discovering Traditions, then you can read that here. Today, I want to share my own memories of the Königstag.

While being a very young Child in Germany, I lived near Cologne, the 6th of January was be a public holiday (if I recall correctly), on that day children older than myself (aged about 9 or 10), dressed up as the three wise men with a star, would come from door to door asking for a little money that would be given to a charitable project with their church. In exchange they wrote the number of the year and the letters of the three kings on the doorframe with consecrated chalk. Blessing the home or house for the year to come. This year you will be able to read:

20 + C + M + B + 16 Continue reading “A Day For Kings”

Advent Calendar Day 24: A German Christmas

24

A German Christmas

Danzig Christmas Tree 2009
Christmas Tree in Danzig, Poland 2009

Most of my blog’s readers know this, I am German, but grew up in Germany the US and France. Still Christmas stayed a completely German affair. Not all parts of Germany are very Christmassy, nor are all Germans Christians. Still Christmas is important.

Today, I want to share some of my traditions for the 24th of December, or Heiligabend (Holy Evening).
The 24th of December starts with the opening of the last bag, window or door of the advent calendar. Because Christmas is almost here! Actually celebrations happen on the 24th rather than on the 25th. Today things are different for many Children in Germany, because most will be banned from the living room for most of the day.
Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 24: A German Christmas”