Highlighting Germany’s traditions will be theme for 2015
German Consul General for Toronto Walter Stechel with Antje Splettstoesser, Director Marketing & Sales Canada for the German National Tourist Office

Highlighting Germany’s traditions will be theme for 2015

TORONTO — Germany’s customs and traditions will be the theme of the country’s marketing efforts in 2015, it was announced last night during a taste of German Christmas media reception at the Residence of the Consul General in Toronto.

The country that is widely believed to have invented the Christmas tree and which is renowned for its Christmas markets, has its own set of customs and traditions during the holiday season.

The German consul general in Toronto Walter Stechel explained that in Germany, Christmas is celebrated on Dec. 24, which is also when the tree is put up. “At one time it would have contained real candles and the decorations on the tree were important,” he told the assembled group.

“Usually the father rings a bell, the doors open and the children see the tree.” Then they sing songs and have dinner before opening presents. Many traditional Christmas handicrafts are still made today in Saxony including the colourful hand painted wooden tree ornaments, the nutcracker kings and soldiers, and the bare-bottomed orchestra angel.

During 2015, Germany’s many festivals, street markets and folkloric events celebrating historic dates, arts, crafts or culinary delights will take centre stage. Among the events are the Mardi Gras street carnivals in the Rhineland; reenactments, such as the German Peasants’ War (1523-25) in the Thuringian town of Mühlhausen in May; and Martin Luther’s Wedding in Wittenberg, Saxony-Anhalt in June.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa has announced visitors can now fly on the airline’s new Premium Economy Class, available for booking on flights operated by Boeing 747-8s. The destinations that can now be booked include the routes from Frankfurt to and from Buenos Aires, Chicago, Hong Kong, Mexico City, São Paulo, Seoul, Beijing and Washington, DC.

Depending on the aircraft type, the seats are up to 1.2 inches wider and provide greater privacy. The back rest can be reclined further and the seat pitch is a more spacious 38 inches. Passengers can also take twice as much free luggage with them (two items weighing up to 50lb each) compared to Economy Class. The Premium Economy Class is a separate compartment between Business and Economy Class and contains between 21 and 52 seats, depending on the aircraft type. Installation of the new travel class is being carried out on a gradual basis, sub-fleet by sub-fleet, and will be completed by summer 2015.

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