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May 4 marks International Firefighters' Day — a time to honor their work, while also learning some German expressions involving fire.
For Meet the Germans, we've introduced you to various German idioms about the elements. This time around, it's all about fire.
Fire is essential to human life, for everything from cooking to heating, but of course it can also get out of hand, as seen in the wildfires that wreaked havoc in recent years in places from Australia and California, to Brazil, Borneo and the Arctic Circle. We thought we would also honor those who try to keep it in check: firefighters.
May 4 is an international celebratory day to honor those who risk their lives to keep people safe. Called into being after five firefighters died in 1998 while trying to put out a bushfire in Linton, Australia, people around the world can honor these courageous people by wearing red and blue ribbons. The colors signify the main elements firefighters work with: red for fire, blue for water.
The date May 4 was selected as it is the feast day of St. Florian, who is said to have been one of the first known commanders of a firefighting squad in the Roman Empire.
Click through the gallery above to learn German expressions involving fire.
This article was first published in May 2021.