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Entries about children

Summer Holidays

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The schools close for six weeks over the summer. However, the dates of the school holidays differ from federal state to federal state. In order not to have the whole country leaving for the holidays on one single weekend and returning home on the same weekend, holiday dates are being split up. The German summer holiday season lasts, in total, from late June to the second week of September.

Kids from some states begin the holidays already in the last week of June while others have to wait until the beginning of August. Baden-W├╝rttemberg and Bayern always occupy the last holiday period. The other states rotate dates.

Despite splitting up the holiday season, be prepared for huge traffic jams on the highways on peak travel days. Since many accommodations in the Alps and along the Mediterranean are rented out in weekly intervals and change occupancy on Saturdays, the main roads leading south are notorious for congestions on Saturdays, a length of 20 or 30 kms is not unusual. If your plans allow, avoid.

Balkonia, Gardenia, Rasenna

Balkonia, Gardenia, and Rasenna are popular holiday destinations among Germans, especially among people who are on a tight budget.
These destinations are comfortable and easy to reach and feel just like home. You'll get all the food you want and are used to. They do not require any visas, there are no baggage rules and no booking fees.
In Balkonia and Gardenia wild camping is allowed, visiting is free. Rasenna often has excellent swimming pools in close vicinity but may require a small daily fee.
Balkonia is also good for abseiling and bird watching.
Gardenia, however, can only be enjoyed long-term if you agree to work.
Also note that these holiday destinations are usually self-catered unless you visit one that is inhabited by willing hosts, which however means you won't have it to yourself.

  • Ahem*

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These are synonymes for spending your holidays at home.
Balkonia -> on your own balcony
Gardenia -> in your own garden
Rasenna -> on the lawn of a public swimming pool or in a park (Rasen = lawn)

Posted by Kathrin_E 13:10 Archived in Germany Tagged children germany holidays traditions customs Comments (0)

The First Day at School

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Children start primary school at the age of 6. No matter if they have attended kindergarten before or even a year in pre-school, the first day at 'real' school is a big event in their young lives and an even bigger one in the lives of their parents who are inevitably confronted with the fact that their littlies are growing up and are no toddlers any more. In recent years this has grown into a family event with grandparents, godfathers and -mothers etc. coming to visit and participate. I am somehow jealous because I do not even have a photo of my own first schoolday! I blame my mother...

For the first-years school starts one or two days later than for the older kids. Primary schools receive them with a little festive event and then distribute them to the different class groups (unless the school is very small and has only one 1st form).

On that big day the abecedarian receives a Schult├╝te: a big cone-shaped cardboard container filled with goodies, toys and school items to make the beginning of school sweeter. They are almost as big as the kid...
You'll see these colourful cones everywhere in the windows of stationery shops, kid suppliers and department stores over the summer. Some families also make their own, or kindergartens invite the whole group to make theirs. Decoration can be anything, from pink princess to favourite soccer club.

Posted by Kathrin_E 13:23 Archived in Germany Tagged children germany events holidays traditions customs Comments (0)

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