Tag Archives: Traditions

It’s Father’s Day in the USA – Vatertag in the USA

Today is Father’s Day here in America. This day of honorig all Dads is celebrated in the USA every year on the third Sunday in June, almost a month later than in Germany!

In Germany, Father’s Day – ‘Vatertag’ coincides with the church holiday of ‘Christi Himmelfahrt’ (Ascension of Jesus). It’s a national holiday and it’s always happening on a Thursday since the Ascension of Jesus is celebrated 39 days after Easter Sunday.

Interestingly, not all German speaking countries are celebrating Father’s Day on the same day. Austria for example has its Father’s Day on the second Sunday in June, while Switzerland initially didn’t have a dedicated Father’s Day until 2009. Since then the official Swiss Father’s Day is happening on the first Sunday in June.

How is Father’s Day celebrated in Germany? It used to be or often still is a day, on which fathers/men celebrate themselves and enjoy each other’s company in fact without family and children! In North Germany and East Germany, Father’s Day tellingly is called ‘Herrentag’ (Day of the Men) .

But more and more young families nowadays celebrate Father’s Day pretty much the same like we do here in the United Sates and make it a day with the family. I personally remember Father’s Day being a day for and with my Dad.

While Father’s Day has been an official holiday in Germany since 1934, the United States’ first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 in the State of Washington; however it wasn’t until 1972 that Father’s Day became a permanent national holiday in the USA.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there! 


Image: Pixabay.com



Granny Aupair – A Different Take on the Traditional Au Pair Concept


Invite a German Speaking Granny to Look After Your Children

As expats we often miss that our children won’t be able to grow up with their grandparents. Not only does it make us feel at ease to have someone experienced to help raise our children but it’s absolutely precious to have someone look after them, who will also pass on some German traditions and values we ourselves most likely grew up with. Not to forget the nice benefit of having our kids be exposed to speaking German whilst they grow up far away from Germany.

Following the principles of an au pair service the German company Granny Aupair in Hamburg has been filling that ‘Granny void’ since 2010!

Have a German “Leih-Oma” Stay With You!

If you can’t have your own Oma stay with you, have a ‘Leih-Oma’ share in your family’s life overseas. That way your kids don’t have to miss out completely on the enriching grandparent experience. There is so much to learn from an older generation and Granny Aupairs come ready to share their generational wisdom while nurturing your children.

Granny Aupairs are active, adventure loving women aged 50 and above from all over the world but mainly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They offer a wealth of life experience and most often have raised families of their own. Child care, cooking and keeping a household in check is nothing new to them. They are experts in it!

An Enriching Cultural Experience For The Entire Family

“Since 2010 more than a thousand ‘Grannies’ have travelled to over 50 countries” with Granny Aupair, which was founded by Michaela Hansen (55) in Hamburg. Over the course of their stay many Grannies have become friends with the children and parents alike and have knit close bonds. Susanne, a mother in the USA mentions: “We had such a great experience that we had several Grannies over the last few years, and two of them have come back for a second stay. The children are really happy when a Granny comes again. We also had a “Granny Reunion” in Frankfurt in July this year with our family, my mother, and four grannies. It was wonderful to see all of them together!“

Many women, who choose to become a Granny Aupair are looking for a new challenge after they have retired or their own children have ‘left the nest’. They still feel adventurous, enjoy traveling and are in search for something granny-brigitte-in-kalifornien-2
meaningful to pursue. Granny Aupair Brigitte Köfler from Bregenz, who cared for a family of six in Los Altos felt very enriched by her Granny experience and puts it this way: “I got to know so many wonderful people during my stay…The family I stayed with was absolutely fantastic and they made me feel like a true part of them. The fun with the children and to feel so warmly appreciated was very fulfilling.“

According to an article in the British Telegraph and a 2014 annual survey by Nannytax there is in fact a trend that many families prefer hiring older, more life experienced women to look after their offspring. Granny Aupair offers just that on an international level.

I Am Ready For My Granny Aupair. How Does It Work?

Families and single parents all over the globe can now easily find their Granny Aupair. To get more detailed information and browse the database of Grannies, who are ready to be part of your family, you just simply have to register free of charge at www.granny- aupair.com . Once you have found a Granny you feel fits your family, you need to become a member to start a conversation…and you are on your way to an enriching adventure!

Granny Aupair – Jetzt oder Nie!Logo GrannyAupairwww.granny-aupair.com


Granny Aupair – (+49) (40) 87976140 – info@granny-aupair.com – Facebook
DisclaimerGranny Aupair is a pure online matching agency, with the focus on cultural exchange. We are not a job exchange or “regular” Aupair agency.
The Grannies are on a private trip where the Granny lives with a family instead of in
a hotel. Wages or payment are not intended as such. Everything is a matter of negotiation between the Granny and the family.


Credits:  Images by ©IlonaGehrke ©GrannyAupair
(Sponsored Post)


“Trick or Treat” or “Süßes, sonst gibt’s Saures”


Halloween, a German tradition made in the USA

Today is Halloween! A holiday unknown to Germans or at least not being celebrated in Germany until the 1990s. But this has changed!

Today it’s “Süsses oder Saures!” all over Germany – the phrase we know here in California as “Trick or Treat!”

In 2009 the holiday Halloween helped to drive sales up to almost 30 million Euros in Germany and in 2011 it’s believed to have generated sales already of 200 million Euros! Quite some increase, but still not comparable to the USA.

October 31 has actually been an important protestant church holiday in Germany, “Reformations-Tag”, remembering Martin Luther; but this day of contemplation and reflection, even thought still on the church calendar, had to make way for the ‘funner’ Halloween celebrations.

A specialized section within the toy industry, “”Fachgruppe Karneval im Deutschen Verband der Spielwarenindustrie (DVSI)” claims to have brought the tradition to Germany way back then in the 90’s. Since then it’s become an economic factor. What a clever act if you think that the official start for Carnival or “Fasching” is just around the corner, November 11, at 11:11 a.m.!

It seems that celebrating Halloween in Germany has moved that date to October 31 and that “Narrenzeit” is starting today!  Should I say, “Helau”…!?


Further Reads:





Image: Wikipedia


Happy Easter from CaliforniaGermans!

Happy Easter !Happy Easter !

Fröhliches Ostereiersuchen !

Thank you for being a part of our CaliforniaGermans Community. We appreciate everyone of you!


Last Minute Osterbrot & Co. 

Quark Osterbrot:   http://casacolorata.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/ein-osterbrot-ganz-ohne-hefe/

Easter Sweet Bread:   http://mybestgermanrecipes.com/easter-sweet-bread-wreath/

Related Articles:

Easter Traditions – https://californiagermans.com/2012/04/08/happy-easter-2/

Happy Easter!

Easter Surprise 2007

Easter Surprise 2007 (Photo credit: otzberg)

When I was a child, Easter used to be not only a religious holiday but also the holiday that rang in springtime, finally. After all that cold weather and snow, the time around Easter reminded us that winter was not here to stay for good after all. Looking out into our garden I felt happiness and excitement seeing all the different little color spots of flowers stubbornly pushing their way through a tough soil that was still hard from a long winter time. Yellow and purple ‘Krokus’ (crocus), together with ‘Schneegloeckchen’ (snowdrop flower) and yellow ‘Narcissen’ (Daffodils), that even carried so rightfully the other name “Osterglocke” (Easterbell).  Among the sparse young fresh grass peeking out here and there, these delightful little color dots were a refreshing sight, and offered the perfect back drop for a fun Easter egg hunt early on Easter Sunday morning.

Leading up to Easter it is tradition in Germany to create your own variety of Easter eggs and decorate a bunch of ‘Palmkaetzchen’ branches (branches of pussy willow) with these as ornaments. After an early morning egg hunt, Easter Sunday  often started  out with a church visit where, especially in Southern Germany,  a sampler of the foods , later enjoyed during the Easter Sunday breakfast, got  blessed by the priest during mass. In the evening the family gathered for the “Osterbraten” , which at my home traditionally was the roast of a lamb shank with delicious deserts to follow.

A beloved specialty during Easter is by the way the Easter bread, called ‘Osterstriezel’ or ‘Osterfladen’ – depending on where one lives, in the north or south of Germany. Should you like to try baking one, here is a recipe:

Happy Easter!