Die Schultüte on the first day of school
Die Schultüte is a traditional German gift that was established during the 19th century. Die Schultüte is a paper or plastic bag in the shape of a large cone. They are given by parents to their children on their very first day of school to help them overcome the anxiety that is normally associated with this milestone. Schultüten are usually filled with various small gifts ranging from candy to items of clothing and teddy bears.
You can see die Schultüte on the left.
Germany also has a strong carnival culture! Carnival season starts in November and peaks on Rosenmontag which usually falls on February or early March, two days before Ash Wednesday. Carnival is mostly celebrated in Cologne, Mainz, and Düsseldorf, but many German regions also celebrate it on and around Rosenmontag. Carnival processions are held and people celebrate on the street in costumes.
Haribo is a German confectionery company founded by Hans Riegel. It began in Kessenich, Bonn. The name "Haribo" is an acronym formed from Hans Riegel Bonn. The company created the first gummy candy in 1922 in the form of little gummy bears called Gummibärchen.
Haribo was advertised on TV with the phrase: Haribo macht Kinder froh! Und Erwachsene ebenso! That means Haribo makes children happy and adults, too :)
A Stutenkerl belongs to the Nikolaus tradition in the German-speaking countries. It is a pastry made of Stuten, sweet leavened dough, in the form of a man (Kerl is German for 'lad' or 'fellow'). Stutenkerl is available usually around Nikolaus Day, December 6, but in parts of the Rhineland at Sankt Martin's Day on November 11.
There are numerous regional names for the Stutenkerl, such as Kiepenkerl, Weckmann (in the south west), Klaaskerl, Stutenmann, Hefekerl, Männele (in Alsace and Moselle), Boxemännchen (in Luxembourg), Grittibänz and Grättimaa (Switzerland).
The pastry often has inserted raisins and a clay pipe. This pipe may have to do with the Reformation, to make the originally catholic bishop figure more secular.