German courses in Germany - in Mainz, the Gutenberg-, wine culture-, university- and carnival city by the Rhine near Frankfurt and Wiesbaden
Germany is one of Europe's most diverse and interesting countries, with many of its cities acting as museums and much of its countryside offering breathtaking views and open space in which to enjoy various outdoor activities - Mainz is one of these nice cities.
At EVOLANGUAGE not only the German language, but also Mainz, the region around Mainz, the wine and the German culture are part of learning German.
Mainz, also Mayence, city in southwestern Germany, capital of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, on the Rhine River is a central and vital business location.
Mainz, the center of the Rhine wine trades, is the home city of Johann Gutenberg and its 12th century cathedral ranks one of the finest Romanesque architectural achievements.
Extensive winegrowing marks the geography on the outskirts, where a walk between the wine hills in all seasons can blow the everyday-stress away.
The modern Mainz stands for sociability and cosmopolitanism.
Last but not least the University City is also a media city - headed by "Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen" (ZDF).
The surrounding area of the Rhineland Palatinate Regional capital is charming.
Whether traveling to Frankfurt airport - the air platform of Europe, to the picturesque Rhinegau, with the famous convents such as the aloft situated Eberbach, enjoying a boats tour along the romantic Rhine or a trip to the wonderful country sides Hunsrück, Odenwald and Taunus.
A day-trip simple can't be refused.
Mainz and wine
Mainz, the regional capital of Rhineland Palatinate is situated amid the largest wine-growing district "Rheinhessen".
The city's history is of 2000 years.
The ancestors of Mainz were the Romans.
They cultivated the southern plants here and made the wine popular.
"Riesling" is one of the most popular wines.
Not only the Romans enjoyed the wine - also the Emperor Barbarossa, Johannes Gutenberg, archbishops and electors were in Mainz.
You have the opportunity to sample wines at numerous vintages - cheers!
Carnival in Mainz - the Monday before Shrove Tuesday
Carnival or Mardi Gras goes by many names in German, depending on the region and dialect.
Whether you call it Fastnacht, Fasching or Karneval, it is a time for revelry, humor, and satire.
Although its origins go back to ancient pagan times, it is the Romans and the Italians to whom the Germans owe many aspects of their celebration.
The former Roman settlements of Cologne, Bonn and Mainz still celebrate Karneval.
In this annotated glossary, you'll find vocabulary and facts related to the "fifth season".
An important part of the carnival in Mainz is the die street-carnival (especially the Monday before Shrove Tuesday)
- the entire city turns into a singing, laughing and dancing nation.
The highlight of the carnival is the carnival procession on the Monday before Shrove Tuesday, which up to half a million people experience in Mainz every year.
Politically motived wagons, standard-bearers, guards and especially the colourful "Schwellköpp'" are part of the scenery at the carnival procession in Mainz.
- www.kamelle.de (Bonn)
- www.strassenkarneval.de (Aachen)
- www.faschingsplaner.de (München & Oberbayern)
Johannes Gutenberg is the inventor of the letter press with flexible letters.
One of his bibles, the "Göttinger Gutenberg-Bible" year 1454, was listed in the UNESCO register "Memory of the World".
Gutenbergs invention is the basis of modern media communication.
In the Gutenberg-museum in Mainz not only the theoretical information and Gutenberg's print products can be found - one can also print with an old letter press.
Gutenberg-Museum in Mainz
Located in the hometown of Johannes Gutenberg, the founder of the printing press, this museum displays a recreation of his original printing press and a collection of other exhibits.
Provincial Museum of the Central Rhineland (Landesmuseum Mainz)
This museum is one of the first established public museums in Germany: In 1803 Napoleon gave 36 pictures to Mayence, the capital of the former French department "Mont Tonnère".
Wiesbaden is the state in Germany which is mainly recognized by Frankfurt which is the gateway to Europe and only 30 km away from Wiesbaden.
Wiesbaden is situated on the right, northern bank of the river Rhine, opposite the city of Mainz
on the other side of the river.
It is the capital of the state of Hessen and it is only a short distance from Frankfurt am Main.
Wiesbaden is famous for its thermal springs and spa.
Use of the thermal springs is first documented by the Romans.
The area behind Wiesbaden is known as the Taunus - a montaneous ridge with nice lookouts
and long walking and hiking trails.
Mount Nero and the Nero Valley, the Kurhouse and surrounding parks are really the very heart of Wiesbaden.
Christmas in Germany
Germany celebrates Christmas on Dec. 24, the Holy Night - but Christmas celebrations in Germany start in earnest on December 1.
On that day children get to open the first of the 24 doors of their advent calendar
- there are twenty-four numbered doors.
Inside each door there is a picture to symbolize Christmas.
In almost all German cities there is a Christmas market.
The centuries-old tradition is a feast for the senses.
The ambience is enhanced by the aromas of hot chestnuts, grilled sausages and other tasty snacks.
The Glühwein mulled wine (hot spiced wine) is reason alone for a stroll through the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in Mainz.
The undisputed focal-point of the entire Christmas period, in the community and in the family, is the Christmas tree.
A German Christmas without the green fir tree is simply inconceivable.
The giant trees that stand in public are especially grown for this purpose and carefully looked after in municipal wood.
They are often up to 25 metres.
In parts of Germany, people believe that the Christ Child sends a messenger in Christmas Eve.
He appears as an angel in a white robe and crown, bearing gifts.
The angel is called Christkind.
There is also a Christmas Eve figure called Weihnachtsmann or Christmas Man, he looks like Santa Claus and also brings gifts.
Children leave letters on their windowsills for Christkind.
Ostern (Easter) in Germany
Easter in German-Speaking Europe
The Germanic celebration of Easter (Ostern in German) is very much like that in most of the Christian world.
It features the same fertility and spring-related icons-eggs, bunnies, flowers-and many of the same Easter customs.
The three major German-speaking countries (Austria, Germany and Switzerland) are predominantly Christian and Easter is an important time for both Catholics and Protestants in the German-speaking lands.
The art of decorating hollowed-out eggs (ausgeblasene Eier) for Easter is an Austrian and German tradition.
Origins of Easter
The Easter celebration goes back to the earliest days of the Christian church.
But the date of this festival has been controversial from the very beginning.
Even the origin of the name of the most important celebration in the Christian calendar is unclear.
It is not by accident that Easter features such symbols of fertility as the egg and the rabbit, aka the Easter bunny (der Osterhase).
The Easter celebration (das Osterfest) takes on both religious and secular forms.
The Christian religious celebration is the most important day in the church calendar, reflecting Christianity's very beginnings in the Resurrection of Jesus.
In the western church, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the vernal equinox (die Tagundnachtgleiche).
The Eastern Orthodox Easter can fall one, four or five weeks later.
This "movable feast" depends on phases of the moon (Mondphasen, Mondwechsel) and can therefore fall on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25.