Monthly Archives: September 2014

Kicking up our heels at Karneval …

We’re heading into spring and summer in Australia but this week we look at Winter festivals in Germany. Heiligen Drei Könige and Valentinstag are part of the infosheet, but what’s our very favourite winter festival of all??

Karneval!!! (also known as Fasching in the southern German, Austrian and Swiss regions)
The biggest Karneval celebrations are in the Duesseldorf, Cologne, Mainz regions with days and weeks of festivals and celebrations (and even the kids get a day off school for it!!).

Here is just one of the packed streets in Cologne during its main procession on Rosenmontag. (Rose Monday).rosenmontag-cologne

Each region has it’s own special Karneval’s songs, calls and processions with traditionally-dressed dancing group (this is the youngest of the Oktoberfest for Teens organising team in full Karneval club dancing regalia, ready for the town’s Karnevalsumzug (procession) … a few years ago).Funkemariechen

If you’re near Cologne you’ll be yelling “Alaaf!” during the processions but in Mainz it’ll be “Helau”.
Groups of townspeople work for months – almost a year – to make costumes for the processions. But you don’t have to stick to the big cities – often small town Karneval processions have some of the most creative and fun costumes.

Can you pick these Oktoberfest for Teens organisers? Dressed as sun/moon/stars and a volcano they’re ready to parade with their group through a small Rhine village throwing sweets to the onlookers jammed along the footpaths .. and yelling “ALAAF!!!”.

Sonne, Mond und SterneKarnevals-Vulkan

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Germans say what? (Part 2)

Last week we had a look at a glowing-pear, a shield-toad and lots of ‘things.’
Here are just a few more…

Sloths are known for being lazy, which is why Germans call them a Faultier which literally means “lazy animal.”
FaultierA bicycle is sometimes called a Drahtesel in German which translates to “wire-donkey.”

DrahteselColloquially, when nothing is happening or a situation is really boring it is referred to as Tote Hose which literally means “dead trousers.”

Tote HoseA headlight is called a Scheinwerfer in German which means “shine-thrower.”

ScheinwerferWe hope you enjoyed the second part of ‘Germans say what?” and we will be publishing a final part next Friday.

Wir wünschen euch ein schönes Wochenende! 🙂

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We’re getting ready for YOU!

With only three weeks to go until Oktoberfest for Teens 2014 we’re all getting very busy making sure you have a fabulous day!

We’re going to have over 2,000 school students from around Queensland attending the event, so we’re making sure that we have PLENTY of food. We met up with Wolfgang from K&K this week to put in our order for well over 2,000 sausages!

Whilst we were at K&K and we even had two surprise visitors – Herr and Fräulein Bear!

K&KIf you haven’t been keeping up with the Bears’ travels you can catch up on our Travelling Teddies Blog:

The happy couple may even make an appearance at the Oktoberfest for Teens 2014! 🙂

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O’zapft is!

The Munich Oktoberfest 2014 is officially underway!

On Saturday the 20th of September it took the recently-elected Mayor Dieter Reiter four hits with a wooden hammer to tap the first barrel of beer to open Munich’s 181st Oktoberfest.

Dieter ReiterAfter the tapping of the keg the Mayor said “O’zapft is!” which is used to open every Oktoberfest and roughly translates to “It is tapped!”, before wishing the guests a peaceful celebration.

An expected 6 million people from around the world are expected to attend this year’s Munich Oktoberfest!

Here are just a few pictures from the opening weekend:

Oktoberfest Opening Weekend Brezel Girl Oktoberfest WeekendIf you’d like to watch what’s happening on the Theresienwiese live, here is a link to the three live webcams set up looking over the tents, the ferris wheel and towards the ‘Bavaria’ statue:

Bis bald! 🙂

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Germans say what? (Part 1)

German language… the nouns have a gender, there are umlauts and sometimes the language can be very direct.

In German they don’t say light bulb, they say Glühbirne which literally translates to ‘glowing-pear.”

GluehbirneA turtle is called a Schildkröte, which means “shield-toad.”

SchildkroeteA toy is a Spielzeug or “play-thing”…

Spielzeug…a vehicle or Fahrzeug is a “drive-thing”…

Fahrzeug… and a plane is a Flugzeug, which means “fly thing.”

FlugzeugWe hope you’ve enjoyed these literal translations, have a lovely weekend and we will have Part 2 for you next week! 🙂

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Zum gruseln schön!

This week’s infosheet is all about festivals in Autumn. Some key festivities include the Tag der Deutschen Einheit (you’ll find out more about this on the 3rd of October), Martinstag, Oktoberfest and, of course, Halloween!

The Irish tradition of Halloween spread to the USA many years ago and has since been adapted in many countries, including Germany – you haven’t celebrated Halloween until you’ve visited Burg Frankenstein in the Odenwald (overlooking the city of Darmstadt). The castle is well known for its annual Halloween celebrations. The following video is just a little taste of what goes on there on the 31st of October.

Burg Frankenstein

Have a fantastische Woche! 🙂

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Wickie und wer…?

In this week’s infosheet we told you all about the festivals that are held in Germany during summer. One of our particular favourites from this is the Medieval Festivals.

Aside from Kings and Queens, knights, damsels in distress and dragons (ok, maybe not that last one), there was another very important group of people around in the middle ages. This group was made up of Danish, Swedish and Norwegian people and are often portrayed as savage and bloodthirsty in movies. Whilst a group of them certainly devoted their lives to raiding and warfare, most of them were actually farmers, fishers and the like. We’ll give you one more hint… movies often show this group of people wearing hats with horns on them.

We’re of course talking about the Vikings and there is one particularly loveable viking – Wickie!


Wickie und die starken Männer (also known in English as Vicky the Viking) is a German-Austrian-Japanese cartoon series which first aired in Germany on the 21st of January, 1974. Wickie is the son of Halvar who is the chief of the village of Flake. Most of the men in the village (and even boys of Wickie’s age) are concerned with strength and courage and believe that all situations can be solved through violence – but not Wickie. Unlike the others, Wickie has a sharp mind and he proves again and again that intellect is often more important than strength – work smart, not hard!


There are always new adventures to be had, new obstacles to overcome and Wickie usually plays an integral role in helping out his dad, the men or the whole village. In fact, the cartoon is still so popular today that there have been two movies released within the last few years.

Here is just one of the many episodes:

We hope you love it as much as we do! 🙂

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Bibi Blocksberg

In the first infosheet we introduced ‘Walpurgis Nacht’ – the night of the 30th of April when all the witches head to the Brocken (the highest peak of the Harz Mountains). Now the Brocken was traditionally referred to as the Blocksberg and one of Germany’s favourite Children’s characters is Bibi Blocksberg.

As you may have guessed, Bibi Blocksberg is a teenage witch! She lives in Neustadt with her parents Bernhard and Barbara Blocksberg. Bibi loves to play practical jokes (particularly on the mayor of Neustadt), but has a heart of gold. She has saved children from burning buildings, helps her friends in need and will always fight for justice.

Bibi Blocksberg

She is generally seen with her blonde hair in a red ribbon, wearing a green (her favourite colour) dress and white socks. More often than not, she’ll be flying through the air on her broomstick – Kartoffelbrei (mashed potato).


Above you can see Bibi with all of her friends and family. On the left are her witch friends – Xenia, Schubia, Arkadia and Flauipaui. In the middle you’ll see Bibi with her parents Barbara and Bernhard, as well as her grandma – Oma Grete. Karla Kolumna is sitting in the front wearing her glasses – she’s the town’s reporter and can always be found looking for the next big story! In the back the mayor of the city is standing with his secretary, Pichler and on the right hand side you’ll see Bibi’s non-magical friends Marita, Monika and Florian.

You’ll find many of her stories on Youtube. Here is the first one:
Part 1:
Part 2:

Further information, games and much more can be found at

Viel Spass! 🙂

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Let the Fun Begin!

This week the first Infosheets and Quizzes have been sent out (a copy of the first quiz can also be found under the ‘Quizzes’ tab).

The first Infosheet has it all – Spring festivals, Easter, April Fool’s Day, Walpurgisnacht, Dance into May and so much more.

Here is a copy of our favourite Spring-cake – the Lammkuchen (Lamb-cake)


What you’ll need:
• 100g butter (softened)
• 100g cornflour
• 100g sugar
• 100g self-raising flour
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 100g ground almonds or hazelnuts
• 3 eggs
• Sprinkle of salt
• Extra butter and icing sugar

Here’s how you do it:
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Using an electric mixer beat together all the ingredients (except for the extra butter and icing sugar) until the mixture is smooth. Using the extra butter grease the cake tin and spoon in the mixture. Let the cake bake for 60-70 minutes (until a skewer comes out clean). Once it is ready, take the cake out of the oven, let it cool and remove it from the form. Place the cake onto a plate and dust it with icing sugar. You may wish to tie a colourful ribbon around the lamb’s neck.

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