It is important to talk about the culture and traditions in Germany to help foreign students adapt to their new environment. Germany is not only the center of Europe in a geographical sense but also in a political and economic sense.
First, in terms of population, Germany is the second most populous country in Europe, after Russia. Second, the German economy is the largest on the continent and the fifth largest in the world.
Finally, German culture has a strong influence on that of its neighboring countries. Indeed, you would be surprised to find traces of German culture in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Luxembourg, Holland, Switzerland, and even Poland.
Traditions in Germany
- First of all, intimacy and punctuality are of great importance in German society. In addition, German society values thrift, hard work, and effort. Therefore, when dealing with Germans, always be punctual and stick to the schedule.
- Second, Germans are perfectionists in all aspects of life. They never admit their mistakes (not even in jest!) and rarely exchange pleasantries. At first glance, you may think they are unsympathetic. However, they have a very strong sense of community.
- Third, the official language in Germany is German, which is spoken by 95% of the population. However, many other languages are spoken in the country. For example, Serbian, Danish, Romanian, Turkish, and Kurdish.
- Fourth, the majority of Germans practice the Christian faith, and 5% practice, Islam.
- Fifth, one of the foods associated with German culture is a variety of sausage called Bratwurst. German meals often include cabbage, beets, and turnips. You will probably notice that potatoes and pickled cabbage are the favorite foods of Germans.
- Sixth, German culture is not defined by the arts but by innovation and intellectual and creative achievement.
- Seventh, many Germans listen to classical music, especially the symphonies of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Germans also appreciate all forms of classical art. Among the German monuments is the Brandenburg Gate, which symbolizes the unity of Berlin.
- Finally, perfectionism is one of the main traditions in Germany, which is also present in the business. Indeed, they do not appreciate surprises or humorous gestures. In German society, every decision is carefully planned.
Opening hours in Germany
- Most stores in Germany are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. And on Saturdays, stores are open from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. You will also notice that large shopping centers stay open from 8:00 am to midnight.
- For banks, the working hours sometimes differ from one to another. However, most banks are open from Tuesday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. Some close at 1 pm on Wednesdays. And Saturdays and Sundays are weekly days off.
- Regular post offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. On Saturdays, they are open from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., but not in the afternoon. Finally, the days off are normally Saturdays and holidays.
What are the characteristics of Germans?
Here are some of the activities that Germans are traditionally passionate about. These are great ways to meet new people if you have the same interests.
In Germany, people are passionate about travel!
It may seem surprising, but Germans are actually the world’s biggest travelers. The numbers prove it, as Germans book more than 50 million vacation trips every year. They also lead the way when it comes to spending on international travel in Europe. In other words, Germans love to travel, whether in Europe or around the world.
Nature and outdoor activities
Germany has 16 national parks and many hiking trails. It is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Another interesting fact is that people are taking up the new trendy activity of urban gardening. People are growing their own food, not only in the country but also in the city.
A passion for cars
Germany is home to many large automotive companies. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, and Porsche are all from Germany. So it’s no surprise that people also have a passion for cars and driving. Germans drive to pass the time or even to relax. And since their highway has no speed limits, the most popular form of transportation in Germany is unsurprisingly the car.
In Germany, time spent with family and friends is often spent playing board games. Indeed, Germany is home to some of the biggest names in the industry. And the country is also the largest producer of board games in the world. It’s no wonder that Germans love board games. So if you’re looking for interesting activities to do in Germany with your friends, you can’t go wrong!
Public holidays in Germany
- January 1 – New Year.
- January 6 – Epiphany.
- The Friday before Easter – Good Friday.
- Sunday and Monday in April – Easter.
- May 1 – Labor Day.
- May 29 – Ascension of Jesus Christ.
- Early June – Pentecost Sunday and Monday.
- June 20 – Corpus Christi.
- August 15 – Feast of the Assumption of Mary.
- October 3 – German Unity Day.
- October 31 – Reformation Day.
- November 1 – All Saints Day.
- Wednesday before November 23 – Day of Penance and Prayer.
- December 25 – Christmas Day.
- December 26 – Second Christmas Day.