Facts About Germany

Some interesting facts about Germany:

  • Stores are closed on Sundays and public holidays in Germany.
  • Escaping from prison is not a criminal offense. In Germany we are convinced that the desire for freedom is one of man’s basic instincts. However, the lack of criminal prosecution does not apply to other crimes committed while escaping from prison.
  • In Germany, there is nothing special about receiving a bouquet of an even number of flowers as a gift. The number of flowers (even or odd) is not part of German tradition, nor is it a superstition. A bouquet of an even number of flowers does not carry the meaning ascribed to it in the countries of Eastern Europe.
  • Fireworks are allowed only on New Year’s Eve (Silvester).
  • In Germany there is a church tax (Kirchensteuer). The purpose of the church tax is to finance the church community in the taxpayer’s area of residence. The church tax amounts to approximately 8 to 9 percent of the income tax levied and varies depending on the taxpayer’s region of residence. It should be noted that not every religious congregation in Germany charges church tax and it may be waived by “leaving” the congregation.
  • There are over 300 different kinds of bread in Germany.
  • Most fans of The Beatles know that their musical career began in Germany in the Hamburg Red Light District (Reeperbahn).
  • Education at German universities is free for both German and foreign students.
  • Christmas (Weihnachten) is considered the most important holiday of the year.
  • The tradition of decorating the Christmas tree on Christmas Day (New Year’s Day) comes from Germany.
  • There are more than 400 zoos in Germany.
  • In order to go fishing you have to get a Fischereischein, a kind of “fishing certificate”. This means to take special courses and, in some cases, to pass an exam.
  • After the birth of a child in German families, the father can go on maternity leave.
  • For illegal downloading of music or watching movies on the Internet in Germany you can get a big fine.
  • Pupils’ grades (the grading system) in German schools differ from what is customary for people from the former Soviet Union: from 5 “excellent” to 1 “poor”. In Germany 1 is “excellent” and 6 is the worst grade.
  • Germany has a so-called free body culture (German Freikörperkultur or FKK for short). For nudists there are separate beaches and recreational areas. One of the best examples, known the world over, is the Englischer Garten (English Garden), a park in central Munich where you can find naked people sunbathing on green lawns alongside bodies of water. Steam bathing in German saunas is also accepted in the nude. Saunas are divided into separate saunas (only for men or only for women) and public saunas (for both sexes).

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