Christmas in Germany – The importance of the Glühwein

Mulled wine Glühwein

Christmas time is not complete in Germany without drinking a glass of Glühwein, the traditional warm spiced mulled wine every merrymaker enjoy as they walk along the charming Christmas markets. But, what does exactly “Glühwein” means? And, more important, which are the ingredients?

Glühwein

“Glühwein” means “glowing wine” and, apparently, its name comes from the hot irons that were formerly used for mulling (these hot irons are not longer used).

Although the most common glühwein is made with red wine, some marketers also serve “Weißer Glühwein”, which is made with white wine.

The recipe

Glühwein is usually made with wine, which is heated up and spiced with Glühweingewürze (cinnamon, cloves, star anise, sugar and orange juice or lemon). Sometimes people add a shot of liquor. That kind of drink is known as Glühwein mit Schuss.

Another variant of Glühwein is the “Feuerzangenbowle” (Fire Tongue Bowl). The recipe is the same as for the “regular” Glühwein, but for this drink a rum-soaked sugarloaf is set on fire and drip into the Glühwein.

A bit of history

The historic origins of Glühwein date back to when wine started going bad, but germans did not want to throw it, so they added some spices to drink it again.

The oldest documented Glühwein dates from 1420 and it is attributed to a German nobleman (Count John IV of Katzelnbogen), the first grower of Riesling grapes of the world.

Where you can find it?

Mulled wine GlühweinAs I previously mentioned, christmas time in Germany is not complete without drinking a glass of Glühwein at the christmas markets.

Glühwein is usually served in a limited edition ceramic mug. Inscribed on it you can find the name of the German city where you are, the current year and a christmas draw.

A glass of Glühwein costs around 3€ + Pfand (a small additional fee). If you want to keep the cute little mug as a souvenir of your visit to a particular Christmas market, you will lose the fee, if not they will give it back to you as soon as you return the mug.

How should you drink the Glühwein?

To be honest the purpose of drinking Glühwein is to warm people from the inside out, so I highly recommend you to drink it really warm. Once the Glühwein is cold it lose some of its charm and it can´t accomplish its main purpose. 😉

Furthermore, it is really common to drink a Glühwein while enjoying some traditional german specialities such as “Lebkuchen” (gingerbread), “Reibekuchen” (potato pancakes) or “Bratwurst” (sausage).

You still have time enough to enjoy this magic drink because the christmas markets are opened until the 23th of December, and they never run out of Glühwein ;).

If you are willing to visit any christmas in the NRW (Northe Rhine Westphalia) region in Germany click here to find more information about them.

Now it is your turn. Have you ever tried Glühwein? Which one do you preffer, red or white? Could you recommend a nice christmas market in Germany?

 

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Top reasons people move abroad

reasons to relocate

People tend to travel to foreign countries. In many cases, the main reason is not tourism but the opportunity to find a good job and to start a new life. What can possibly motivate people to leave their home countries and relocate?

The reasons are different depending on the circumstances of each person. However, here you can find some of the most popular reasons to move abroad:

Better job opportunity

If you are struggling to find a good job waiting around is not the right answer. Relocating to other part of the world allow you to access to a new job market and to choose a place you know has the opportunities you are looking for.

Love & Family

You may want to move abroad to stay closed to the people you love the most.

Maybe your partner need to relocate due to job reasons leaving you no choice but to follow him/her in order to preserve your future together.

It may also be possible that you met the person you believe to be the right partner to grow old together so you may decide to move with him to start a common life in a new country (probably his/her home country).

A new language or a higher job position are important steps in the process of personal growth

Broaden horizons

For many the desire to explore, to discover, is the main reason to relocate to a new country. Moving abroad allows you to immerse yourself in a new culture, see incredible new things, learn a different language and, at the same time, experience a change in every single aspect of your life.

Weather

Good weather is one of the main reasons to move abroad. Did you know that the 62,2% of young people in Britain are willing to relocate somewhere warmer?

Personal development

Although personal development is a broad concept, many consider a new lifestyle, a new language, a higher job position or the opportunity to meet new people as important steps in the process of personal growth.

Life quality

Another broad concept used to elaborate the Mercer Annual Quality of Living Survey. A survey created to help multinational companies compensate their employees fairly when relocating and placing them on international assignments.

In your case, what is the main reason for you to leave your country? Would you add any other reason to relocate? 

8 Facts you didn´t know about Germany

Ready to discover new facts about Germany?

1. Germans drink around 120 liters of beer annually per person

2. It is said that the Christmas tree tradition comes from Germany

3. 60% of the most popular videos in YouTube are not allowed in Germany

4. Germany was the first country to introduce the daylight saving time

5. Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris and it has more bridges than Venice

6. Fanta was created in Germany due to the difficulties to import Coke syrup into Germany during the World War II

7. Each year 5500 World War II bombs are deactivated in Germany

8. Germans have around 300 bread varieties

 

Which fact surprised you the most?

5 pieces of advice to my pre-expat self

Which advice you would give yourself if you could go back 3 years in time? 

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Three years ago some of us had just arrived in Germany while some others did not know that the universe was planning to bring us here.

If we could come back three years in time we would give us some advices before starting this expat adventure:

1. Never stop dreaming: If you can imagine it, you can achieve it

If you believe in something, go for it. Nothing and no one can stop you.

There will be days you will reconsider everything, there will be moments you will want to go back to your family (your comfort zone), sometimes you will feel homesick…

However, never forget that if you believe in yourself nothing can stop you. If you wanna change something just make the first move.

The most common obstacles while living abroad are traditions and language. Do not wait until the last minute to learn the language and to adapt yourself to the local culture. The earlier you do it, the earlier you will start overcoming any difficulty.

2. Do not lose your inner child 

Learn from each single moment, look around with the same curiosity as if you were a child, talk to different kind of people, laugh at yourself, enjoy simple things in life, face this adventure in a positive manner and never stop smiling, because this is the adventure of your life.

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3. Every person comes to you at the right moment

Every single person you will meet living abroad will come to you at the right moment. Together you will experience remarkable adventures which allow you to evolve as human beings, and your friendship will be a special relationship that will least the rest of your life.

Every person comes to your life for a reason. Learn from them because they will make a difference in your life.

4. Integrate yourself into the local culture

Do not be a conformist; learn the language, make local friends, try local food, travel around the country, go to local festivals, taste typical drinks, go to after work meetings, discuss with different kind people, get used to the local way of transport, speak the local language (even if you are just starting to learn it)…

Be ready to discover a new culture and to experience it, integration is the first step to feel at home.

5. Each situation will teach you a life lesson

Expats are outside their comfort zone. Expats are far from home. Expats are trying to be part of a new culture with different traditions.

Sometimes a trivial thing can be huge problem: a misunderstanding due to the language, looking for a job, a legal matter… Learn from these situation and keep always in mind that there are no problems, there are just solutions.
And the most important advice:  Enjoy this experience like you have never done before, because this is the best life lesson you will ever learn.

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