Germany - Traditional Amusements, Entertainment and Holidays

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Several of my ancestors emigrated from Germany to the United States in the mid to late 1800s.

Henry Blanck came from Lehe, a suburb of Bremerhaven, and emigrated to Hoboken, New Jersey in 1871. The Erxmeyer family originated in the Principality of Lippe, moved to Walsrode, Hannover, moved again to Lehe and finally emigrated to Hoboken, New Jersey in the early 1870s. The Petermann family came for Ganderkesee in the Duchy of Oldenburg and emigrated to Hoboken, New Jersey circa 1883. Fritz Kettler was born in Friesland and emigrated to Hoboken circa 1882. Hoboken was the American home base of two German shipping lines.

Peter Goehle came from Herrnsheim, a suburb of Worms in the Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt, and emigrated to New York City in 1873. Catherine Furst and her brother, Ludwig, were born in Achaffenberg, Bavaria and emigrated to New York City circa 1850.

German immigrants brought may of the traditions illustrated below to the United States.

Christmas Holiday Season - Early December to Early January

The biggest holiday celebration in Germany is from early December until early January. The season officially starts on the forth Sunday before Christmas with the beginning of Advent.

The weeks to Christmas are counted on an Advent wreath. A wreath of evergreens is decorated with candles. One candle is lit the first Sunday. Two candles are lit on the second Sunday and so forth until Christmas. Advent Wreath - wikipedia.

Another method of counting is the Advent Calendar which contains 24 windows. Starting on December 1 a window is opened each day revealing an image, a piece of candy or a small toy. This tradition started in the 1800s in Germany and continues today with many beautiful advent calendars available.

The Christmas markets start around the feast of St. Nichols which is December 6.

Festivities continue to the feast of the Magi (or Wise Men) on January 6th, the 12th day of Christmas, also known as Epiphany. It is traditionally the day the Magi appeared to pay honor to the Christ Child and bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

HARPER'S WEEKELY 1887, Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Christmas Weihnachten is the German holiday with the most significant traditions. Christmas markets date back to as early as the 14th century and sell seasonal food and sweets, gingerbread, mulled wine, trees, tree decorations, and toys. Christmas markets are held in city centers across Germany.

Franz Carl Hohnbaum, Weihnachtsmarkt, public domain

Christmas Markets are still held in Germany (and, in fact, around the world). A Google image search shows thousands of German Christmas Markets photos like the ones above.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Fröhliche Weihnachten (Merry Christmas)

The Christmas Tree

Decorating an evergreen tree inside the house was an early German tradition.

Ornaments could include small "toys" of clay or wood, candies, nuts, fruit, gingerbread cookies in the shape of people or hearts. The tree was an evergreen. It was festooned with lighted candles.

The custom of bringing a tree indoors and decorating it dates back as far as the mid 1500s. It was generally brought in and decorated on Christmas Eve and was taken down on Twelfth night (January 6th).

The Christmas Pyramid

The origins of the Christmas Pyramid dates back to the Middle Ages. These multitiered wooden structures depict scenes form the nativity including angles, shepherds and Magi. The tiers move in a circle when heat from candles on the lower levels cause a windmill on the top of the structure to revolve.

Traditionally table top size many Christmas Markets in German (and other places) now boast pyramids with live size figures.

Christmas Pyramid

Saint Nicholas and Companions

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Seid ihr fromme Kinder gewesen? Verdient ihr Nüsse oder den Besen [Have you been good children? Do you want nuts or the switch?] von Karl Kronberger (1841-1921) circa 1880

The feast of St Nicholas is celebrated on December 6 and children place their shoes near the door so that St. Nicholas (Santa Claus) can fill them with nuts, fruits and candies. Bad children received a switch. In some area he hangs small toys and treats on the Christmas tree. Santa Clause is known in Germany as Weilnachtsmann (the Christmas man)

St. Nicholas was an early christian saint from Greece. His relics were stolen by sailors and brought to Bari, Italy in 1087. There are numerous accounts on the internet of how he became related to the gift giver of Christmas and how his appearance changed over time.

In Germany St. Nichols traditionally had a long white beard was dressed as a bishop carrying a staff (or crosier) and wearing a miter on his head.

He has various companions including: Knecht Ruprecht, Krampus, and Pelznickel. They are a little confusing as their attributes, actions, clothing and accessories vary according to the source.

Knecht Ruprecht (farmhand Ruprecht) is usually depicted with a long white beard. He sometimes carries a long staff, and a sack and wears little bells on his clothes. He makes sure that everyone has behaved during the year. He asks children if they have said their prayers. If the answer is yes, he gives them bags of candy, fruit and nuts. The combination of St Nicholas and Ruprecht represent the two classes of Germany society, the nobleman and the peasant. Sometimes Ruprecht is portrayed as a devil. He first appeared in written sources in the 17th century.

Krampus is a devil with horns and a long red tongue, a tail, one cloven and one human foot with claws for toes. He frightens children with chains and a switch. He has sexual overtones and is often depicted chasing after buxom young women. Krampus night is celebrated on December 6th.

Pelznickel (various spellings) is kind of an alter ego to St. Nicholas (Santa Claus). His name means Nicholas in fur. He is sometimes dressed in old furs and can be very mean looking. He carries a large switch (or rod) with which he beats bad children. His arrival is announced with the loud ringing of bells, jangling of chains and the stamping of feet. Sometimes he looks very much like Santa Claus in different colored clothing. He asks each child about their behavior in the previous year. If the child has been good he (or she) is rewarded with candy, fruit and nuts.

Knecht Ruprecht and Belsnickel are similar and are both St Nicholas alter egos.

public domain

St. Nicholas and Krampus. Good children are rewarded by the saint and bad children are punished by the devil.

public domain

Knecht Rubrecht und das Christkind, 19th century.

public domain


public domain


Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

"Christkindel in Schlehen"

In some parts of Germany Christkindl (Christ Child)* leaves gifts on Christmas Eve.

The concept of Christkindl was pushed by Martin Luther in order to diminish the believe in St Nicholas. The Christkindl is often depicted with blond hair, a crown and angles wings. The form of Christ-kindschen is fluid - Sometimes portrayed as a child, at others as an adult, sometimes male and sometimes female. In modern-day Chriskindlmarkets the Christkindl is often portrayed by a young woman. Her accessories include a bell, a wand and/or a lantern. The term is anglicized into Kris Kringle.

I am not 100 percent sure, but I believe that the image above represents Knecht Rubrecht and Christkindl. Cristkindl in this images adheres to one of the traditions of this character - that is a young woman or girl dressed in white with a gilt crown and wings and a long white veil.

Sometimes Christ-kindschen summons the family with a bell to enter the room where the Christmas tree is set up.

In some areas of Germany, Christ-kindschen and Knecht Ruprecht go along the street together going from house to house.

Notice the Christmas tree in the background.

*Also called Christ-kindschen (Krist Kingle).

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Christmas Day in German for Young and Old - The Sphere - January 3, 1903

New Years

New Years Eve was celebrated with parties.

"Prosst Neu Jahs"

In New York City many Germans went to balls on New Year's eve. In 1855 New Year's Eve balls were held at populate German Beer Gardens such as the Turn Halle, Volks Garden, the Metropolitan Rooms, Erbe's Winter Garden, Busam's Fortuna Hall, Millman's Hall and Lindermuller's Odeon. See Beer Gardens

Carnival - Fasching

Fastnacht, Fasching, Fasnacht, Fasnet, Karneval is a moveable feast its occurrence based on the Easter in any given year.

The festivities usually start on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Is some areas it start as early as January 6th (twelfth night). Traditions vary depending on the region of Germany but usually involved costumes, singing, parades, a masked ball and drinking.

See Societies and Amusements


Lent (Lenz in German), a very old tradition in Christianity, is a period of forty days of fasting preceding Easter.

It is a time of self denial, prayer and meditation. The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday (Ashermittwoch).

On the first Sunday of Lent near the boarder between Hesse and Bavaria there was a rather unusual ceremony. Young men carrying torches of straw covered with tar and set ablaze chased a wheel of flaming combustibles down the hillside until they reached the bottom where they flung everything into a heap. Then standing around the blaze they burst into song. The object was to drive away evil spirits and to honor the Virgin - keeping the fields save from hail storms.

On the Thursday before the first Sunday of Lent butchers and weavers at Konz on the Moselle fastened a wheel to a live oak tree. On Sunday the villagers climbed the hill, cut down the oak, and set fire to the wheel, sending both wheel and oak rolling down the hillside. The wheel was accompanied by butchers on horseback who fired arrows at the flaming wheel.

The forth Sunday of Lent was known in Germany ast Todtensonntag - Dead Man's Sunday. A procession represented the burial of winter and the return of spring.

The sixth Sunday of Lent is Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday represents Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The event was celebrated with processions of the faithful carry palms. In Germany the "palms" were from a willow tree whose pretty yellow catkins (pussy willow) bloomed in early spring. Goethe wrote: "More northern climes must be content with the sad willow" as a substitute for a true palm. See German Culture Site Francine McKenna Bella Online's German Culture Editor

Traditionally meat was avoided in favor of salted fish.

In 1475 the papal legate gave a five years dispensation allowing Germans to eat eggs, milk, butter and cheese during Lent.


Colored eggs were placed in the garden for children to find. The children were told a hare had laid the eggs.

Coloring Easter Eggs is a tradition imported to the US from Germany and other European countries.

See German Easter Traditions

Whitsuntide, May Day and the May Pole

Whitsuntide (Pentecost) is celebrated on the 7th Sunday after Easter. Birch trees are decorated with large wreaths. One or more may poles were set up in the village. The were decorated from top to bottom with garlands and wreaths.

Young women wear flowers in their hair. One young woman is chosen May queen and leads the May Pole dance.

On May Day suspicious peasants chalked the doors of the stables and farm yard gates with three crosses to keep the cattle from becoming bewitched.

Dance around the Maypole by Pieter Brueghel the Younger

St John's Feast - mid summer night.

The Feast of St. John is June 24th but the celebration of his day is really the evening before. This celebration of the birth of John the Baptist is 6 months before Christmas. It coincides with the summer solstice. A tradition around the Christian world is the the St. John Bonfire on June 23. Cattle are led over the fire and people jump over the fire to insure good luck and health in the coming year. The ashes of the fire were mixed with water and given to the cattle as a preventive against the plague.

In the first half of the 16th century almost every village in Germany had bonfires on St. John's eve. Young and old, wearing garlands of mugwort and vervain, gathered around the fire to sing and dance. They peered at the fire through bunches of larkspur in the belief that it would protect their eyes in the coming year. At the end of the evening the mugwort and vervain were thrown in the fire. Mugwort and vervain are wildflowers.

Vervain (a relative of rue) was believed to have the power to heal diseases, cure insect bites and cure rabid animals. Vervain wreaths were presented to German brides. Vervain was also associated wilh the war-god in Germany.

In Germany a hat made of Vervain, or into the composition of which Vervain enters, is presented to the newly-married bride. It is believed also to preserve a house protected by it from thunder. In Bohemia it is believed that water in which Vervain and Rue-plants frequently associated for mystical purposes have been boiled, will render a gun in which it has been poured of an unerring aim; and Vervain which has touched a midsummer fire will snap iron. B. M.

Several sources 1800s

Mugwort is called St. John' Plant or St. John's wort. It was gathered on St. John's eve when a crown of mugwort was worn to ward of disease and misfortune.

Harvest Festivals

THE GRAPHIC JULY 2, 1870, Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck


"Here is a picture of an "Ernteball" or harvest festival in a German village. As soon as the last wagon-load of golden grain has been carried from the field, preparations are made for a grand celebration. The largest barn is chosen fro the purposes of merry-making; and the festivities, which begin in the afternoon, are kept up with surprising vigour through out the night, and frequently, with a few necessary interruptions, through a second night, and far into the following day."
Dancing is "no mere shuffling about of the feet". The dancer utters
"prolonged howls; he stamps with all his might, he snaps his fingers, he pours forth clouds of tobacco smoke from mouth and nose, while ever and anon, if he desires to be thought anything of a dancer, and to find favor with the gentler sex, he must toss up is fair partner on to the air."

Theodor Christoph Schuz (1830-1900) - Midday Prayer in the Harvest


Michaelmas was/is the feast of the Archangel Michael. It is celebrated on September 29th.

The traditional dinner of Michaelmas is goose.

A book fair was held in Leipzig at Michaelmas. The Liepzig also had a leather fair at Michaelmas.

A large fair was held at Frankfort at Michaelmas. The Frankfort fair was established in 1330. Merchant and dealers came from all over Europe. Cotton, woolens, earthenware, hardware, silks, fancy wares and wine were bought and sold.

Michaelmas was a common time for confirmation ceremonies.

Michaelmas daisy (aster) is a late blooming flower associated with Michaelmas.

A German tradition was that if it rained on Michaelmas the winter would be mild.

At Michaelmas something sharp was laid in the fodder so the witches could not harm the cattle. (Seems potentially harmful to the cattle.)

St Martin's Day

November 11 is Martinstag (or Martinmas), the feast day of St. Martin of Tours. It coincides with the end of the autumn wheat harvest and the annual slaughter of cattle and geese. It is a kind of German version of Thanksgiving with goose instead of turkey. The holiday originated in France but spread to other countries including Germany.

The day is celebrated with processions and bonfires. St. Martin riding a horse and dressed in a red cape and Roman soldier's helmet leads a procession of children carrying decorative lanterns.

The celebrations begin on the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th months.

The festival of St Martin, happening at that season when the new wines of the year are drawn from the lees and tasted, when cattle are killed for winter food, and fat geese are in their prime, is held as a feast-day over most parts of Christendom. On the ancient clog almanacs, the day is marked by the figure of a goose; our bird of Michaelmas being, on the continent, sacrificed at Martinmas.

The Book of Days: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in ..., Volume 2 edited by Robert Chambers, 1832

Erfurt - Martinstag

St Martin's Day was also a day of feasting before the traditional fasting of Advent. Advent was a solemn period. No marriages were permitted in the Protestant church during Advent.


Procession were common in Catholic parts of Germany. They celebrated the feast days of saints and other memorable events in the Catholic calendar such as the feast of Corpus Christi. Corpus Christi (the body of Christ) is a moveable feast day celebrated the Thursday after Trinity Sunday (which is the first Sunday after Pentecost (which is seven weeks 0r 50 days after Easter).

ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS JUNE 11, 1883, Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck


Village Life in Kreis Saarburg Pilgrimage to the Holy Robe in Trier

Horse Racing and Gambling

Foreign visiters to Germany said the Germans were addicted to gambling and would place a heavy bets on anything, especially horse racing.

Races were held at Easter and Michaelmas.



According to several travelers in Germany in the mid to late 1800s only a small number of people went to the Sunday service. They sang psalms, heard prayers and a sermon, and left after a blessing.

Sunday was reserved, not so much as a day of worship, but as a day of recreation.

Beer Gardens and County Inns

UNKNOWN, Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck

Deutsch Illustrirte Zeitung, 1890, Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

In a Munich beer cellar, 1890 from a painting by M Trebacz.

See Beer Gardens in New York City

Public Punishment

Punishing masks for shrews.

Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck

A shrew is defined by Webster as "a bad tempered woman". Being a shrew was a punishable offence. To improve their dispositions they were sentenced to suffer indignities like these ladies who were forced to don masks and wear heavy weights around their necks. In England they were forced to be seated in a chair at the end of a long pole and were dunked in water. They were also chained to the wall of the parish church.

Skittles and Bowling

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

German Skittle Ground

Kegeln (Skittle) or nine pin bowling was a popular game played out doors with wooden balls. The ball was rolled down a smooth board the object being to knock over the pins at the end of the board.

Print collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Kegeln auf dem Lande (Bowling in the countryside)

After a painting by Frants Henningsen - a Danish painter.

Schutzen -Marksmanship

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2013

Ein Schützenkönig im Hannöverschen by Conrad Bekcmann

A Hanoverian marksman.

Schützenfests [marksmen competitions] fairs or festivals were extremely popular in Germany. The festival lasted for a little as a day and as long as several day. It was accompanied with food, games, drinking, music, singing and dancing. The German immigrant carried this tradition with them. The Blanck and Erxmeyer families participated in Schützenfests in New York and New Jersey. See Schuetzen

These events are still held in Germany and in German America communities in the US.

wikimedia commons, 2013

Hannover Schützenfest 1905.


Walking was a popular pastime. Country homes of the nobility and gentry were surrounded by public paths open to everyone. People also walked through the woods, meadows, and fields. William Howitt and Englishman writing in 1842 said the Germans loved a "wood-stroll":
To go to some lovely village in the hills or forest, or to some old farmhouse, where you get milk and coffees, and take bread with you perhaps: where you find a Tanz-boden" or shed, where the young people can have a dance: where the old sit, and look on, and smoke, and talk and knit.
Other popular destinations were county inns, an old mill or a lookout point.

Picknicks were popular. On these excursions people would play games, and sing and dance.


The Hunter's Dream, a 17th century German painting by an unknown artist depicts a hare and several different types of large birds.

Deer-shooting in Winter by Edward Orme dated 1814 shows three men, two with rifles. The third man is leading a cattle drawn sledged through the snow. They are accompanied by two dogs.

Other images show: boar, deer, wild goats and various birds

November, by Joachim von Sandradt (1606-1688)


Harvest picnic by Adrian Ludwig Richter

Sledding and Skating

Neustadtufer an der kleinen Weser in Bremen, 1841 - Anthonie Braakman (1811-1870)

Wilhelm Alexander MEYERHEIM (1815-1882)

In winter in German most vehicles moved on runners. Sledges were pulled by horses covered in gay colored blankets on which are stitched small bells. Tub, baskets, and bundles were put on a sledge. Boys and girls drew one another along the streets and boys especially loved to slide down any hill.

Singing and Dancing

Germans loved to sing and dance.

Bauermnbelustigung (Framers Amusements) 1625-1635 by Pieter deBloot (circa 1601-1658)

Tanzende Bauern circa 1755


Many Germans men smoked pipes.

Peasants Smoking and Drinking circa 1635 Adriaen Brouwer (circa 1605 - 1638)


Everyone drank.

In the wine growing regions wine, of course, was popular.

Beer and apple cider were common drinks.


William Howitt, an Englishman writing in 1842, found the beer weak and "very strong in hop". He found the wine "very pleasant". The Germans were not tea drinkers. William Howitt said this about Germans drinking tea:

"They complain that tea makes them drunk, makes their heads ache, heats them, gives them red noses, and, in fact, has all the effects of spirituous liquors on them."


Breakfast: According to Rural and Domestic Life of Germany by William Howitt published in 1842 breakfast was generally simply coffee and bread, with or without butter. Coffee was drunk black - no sugar, milk or cream.

Lunch (or dinner): Lunch was the main meal of the day and was served around noon or one o'clock.

The German cookery abounds in soups, vegetables, and sausages, of various kinds, sour kraut, of course, salads of many kinds amongst which a particular salad, made of cold potatoes with vinegar and anchovies, is a great favorite.

Rural and Domestic Life of Germany by William Howitt published in 1842

Supper: The last meal of the day was eaten around seven and consisted of cold meats, potatoes salad and "such like".

Meats included beef, veal, and Mutton (which was said by Howitt to be of poor quality). The manin meat was pork either fresh or cured. Game was also popular: hares, rabbits, boar, and venison>

Herring was popular near the sea and fresh water fish such and trout and pike were caught for eating.

Eggs, milk, cheese and butter.

Fruit which was dried for consumption in the wintertime included, cherries, apples, pears and plums. A liquor was also made from plums.

Chicken, geese and other fowls. The geese were feed Indian corn to enlarge their livers. Geese were stuffed with chestnuts and roasted. Geese were also pickled and smoked for consumption during the winter.

Vegetables included: peas

In 1833 a peasant diet in Hesse was mainly potatoes, oatmeal and vegetables with a bit of bacon and black brad on Sundays.


Bread was frequently dark, made with rye flower and leavened with sour dough.
Coffee, sugar, and salt were commodities that were purchased. It is possible that what was called "coffee" was actually chicory roasted and ground finely or a blend of real coffee and chicory. As this type of Coffee was alled "German Coffee". Coffee was not grown in Germany. It was imported - possibly from Brazil. Germany had an active trade with Brazil in the 1800s. An several coffee plantations in Brazil were owned by Germans. Coffee was first introduced in Constantinople about 1550. Coffee houses were popular in German cities like Berlin and Dresden by the early 1800s.

Chicory was actually a species of dandelion.

Coffee beans (when they were really used) were bought raw. They were roasted and ground just before the coffe was make. Coffe was brewed by filtration.

Germans did grown beets that were used to make sugar. However, sugar was also imported from the West Indies.
Germany had tons of salt mines. However, salt in Germany was subject to a tax.


Germany is, of course, known for its beer.

See German Beer Institute

and Three Millennia of German Brewing

Old Woman Peeling Apples by Nicholas Naes circa 1655

The spinning wheel is a flax wheel. Linen weaving was very common in Germany. See Flax/Linen

Market Woman with Fruit, Vegetables and Poultry 1564 by Joachim Beuckelaer (circa 1533-1575)

Among the fruit are plums of various kinds, cherries, apples, grapes, and pears. Among the vegetables are carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, cucumbers, cabbages, garlic, peas and some kind of squash. The only visible poultry is the duck.

Frans Snyders - Fuit and Vegetable Stall

Among the vegetables are mushrooms, cabbages, parsnips, cauliflower, peas (or beans), maybe asparagus, squash, and cardoons. The fruit are a little harder to identify but there are grapes, plums, figs and lemons

It should be noted that corn, potato, tomato, pepper vanilla, tobacco, beans, pumpkin, cassava root, avocado, peanut, pecan, cashew, pineapple, blueberry, cranberry and sunflower and other less common plants were New World plants and did not enter the European diet until after 1492.


In the winter women knitted, spun, wool and flax and wove.

Many men engaged in wood working or carving.

Birthdays, Betrothals and Anniversaries

Birthdays, betrothals, and anniversaries were celebrated with parties.

Birthday parities were celebrated with gusto. Houses were decorated with garlands.

Silver (25 years) and golden (50 years) anniversaries were celebrated.

Games were played. Games like blind man's bluff were popular at children's parties.

Ludwig Knaus The Children's Table

See Births, Marriages and Deaths


Dogs were kept for hunting and I am sure as pets.

There are numerous images of kittens and cats. They probably served a duel purpose; as pets and mouse catchers.

Auguste Ludwig, Kinder mit Katzchen 1852, public domain

Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim, public domain

I am not the only one to notice the frequency of caged birds in Germany painting. It's About time - Keeping Birds in Cages from the early 1500 to the early 1900s has a great collection of bird in cage images from northern Europe.

Canaries and cage-birds: the food, care, breeding, diseases and treatment of ... 1888, By George Henry Holden says that ravens were a favorite of German inn keepers:

In Germany they are favorite birds with innkeepers, who conceal them in cages where they may be heard; and it is sometimes amusing to witness the amount of fun one will cause by calling a stray guest a thief, or some other favorite pet name.
George Henry Holden says that canaries were popular. Bullfinches and Chaffinches were also kept. Canaries and finches were raised in Germany for their singing abilities and were sold in other parts of Europe and Great Britain. Parrots were found in the home of the more well to do.


Germany county women were hard workers. Women and children worked at the harvest. The women would plow, sow, mow, reap, thrash, drive wagons.


Commerces was carried on at markets and fairs.

The early German fairs had connections to the church and religious festivals. Fairs were called messe which is the same word for mass. The right to hold a fair was granted by the emperor. In 1240 the Emperor Frederick II granted protection to anyone going to a fair.

The three chief fairs of Germany are those of Leipsic, Frankfort on the Maine, and Brunswick. The Leipsic book-fair is unique. The Leipsic fair, beginning January 1, is called New-years fair: the Easter fair, or Jubilee fair, begins on Jubilee Sunday, and Saint Michael's fair, on the Sunday after September 29. Each lasts three weeks, but only the two last are important. The Easter fair is the most important. Frankfort on the Maine has the Easter fair and Autumn fair, in Brunswick, the Candlemas fair and St. Lawrence's fair.

The British Encyclopedia of the arts and sciences By Charles Frederick Partington, 1835

In 1818 Germany had 2,433 cities, 2,071 market towns and 88,619 villages and farms. ( The collected works of Sir Humphry Davy ...: Discourses delivered before the ... By Hugh Murray, Sir Humphry Davy, William Wallace, William Swainson

Fairs were generally held four times a year corresponding with the four seasons.

Markets and fairs provided the population with the a place to buy the things they could not grow or make themselves and offered a place to sell the their produce in return. In fact, they served the purpose that shops did in other countries.

Some fairs and markets were specifically focused on one commodity such as cattle or swine. Great fairs were held twice a year in Leipsic, Brunswich and Frankfort. Some

Germany is advantageously situated for commerce: lying in the centre of Europe, bordering on the north upon two seas, and in the south upon another which opens the communication with the East, and intersected by a number of navigable rivers, it seems by nature destined for a large commercial state. There was also a time when its fleets covered the sea, and when the commerce of almost the whole of Europe was in its hands. This is no longer the case, and Germany now occupies only a subordinate station among the commercial nations of Europe, yet the external as well as internal commerce of Germany is of great importance. The first is carried on by sea and by land, particularly by the three Hanseatic towns, the Prussian, Danish, Slecklenburg, and Hanoverian seaports, and one Austrian port on the Adriatic. The internal commerce by land is with all the countries by which it is surrounded as far as Turkey and Russia. The internal commerce is partly carried on at great fairs, and partly by purchasers in the manufacturing districts. The articles of exportation are corn, linen, iron, lead, wool, worsted, cotton and worsted cloth, metals, quicksilver, glass, mirrors, horses, salt, china, honey, wax, sheep, sulphur, vitriol, pewter, wine, arid fruit. The articles of importation are silk, cotton, coffee, sugar, spices, indigo, cochineal, drugs, the fruits of the south, olives, oil, wine, cheese, and jewellery.

The british Encyclopedia of literature, history, geography, law ,and politics. By Charles F. Partington, 1836

Germany was said to export: corn (wheat), linen, iron lead, wax, cotton, salt, honey wine and fruit.


When the cuckoo laughs there will be thunderstorms before the end of the day.


Germany Introduction
Germany, Birth, Marriage, and Death
German House Exteriors
German Houses Interiors
Farm Animals
Schützenfest and Bowling in New Jersey and New York
Beer Gardens in New York City
German Societies and Customs in New York City
Kleindeuchland New York City


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©Maggie Land Blanck - Page created 2005 - Latest update, June 2016