TRADITIONS AND FESTIVALS In addition to many German customs, you will discover many traditions and festivals to participate in. Everyone hears about the Munich "Oktoberfest" - it takes place in September, not in October. Here in the Eifel, wine festivals are the tradition. The annual Bernkastel-Kues winefest will give you an opportunity to see German tradition at its best without traveling far. In February, the "Fasching," or carnival season comes to a climax on "Rosenmontag" (Rose Monday), and "Fetter Dienstag" (Fat Tuesday) the two days before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. You can find celebrations and festivals to visit all year round in Europe. Local recreation centers offer inexpensive transportation and/or accommodation for all the major festivals. One of the most pleasant social traditions in Germany is "volksmarching," which is usually a 10- or 20- kilometer (6.2 or 12.4 miles) walk at your own pace. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet with friends and neighbors, to make new friends, enjoy the scenery and history of Europe, sample new and delicious foods and drink, and participate in some non-strenuous exercise. Many military installations have their own volksmarching clubs. If you like walking, but prefer to do it alone, or just with your family and friends, you will find abundant forest trails. When walking through the forest, never abuse trees, flowers or wildlife. Fires, littering and motorized vehicles in forest areas are strictly prohibited. Your stay in Germany will be rewarding, especially if you make an effort to understand the ways of the country and its people.