I come from Central Queensland where our seasons consist of summer, summer, summer and about a week or two of “winter” where the temperature manages to drop below 10 degrees. So you could imagine just how excited I am to actually experience spring! I arrived in Germany 2 months ago today during the midst of what I’ve been told was a long, cold winter so even despite the fact I didn’t face the full brunt of winter I too felt a sense of relief to see the mercury begin to rise and the clouds vanish. Spring is an incredibly refreshing experience that has honestly made me feel a need to do more with the extra hour of sunlight and leave the coziness of my room to go on more outdoor adventures and see the blossoming flowers. I have noticed this huge shift in my mood and outlook on life and I think the sun has played a major factor in lifting my spirits.
Spring in Germany is a time for celebration and don’t be surprised to see the streets and parks become crowded with people all out basking in the gorgeous sunlight. I love how that as soon as spring has sprung, and the sun comes out of its winter slumber, the Germans seem to all appear out of hiding and a string of endless parades and parties that celebrate nature and life ensues. It honestly is an overnight change, one day it’s overcast and the trees, streets and gardens are bare then the next morning the sun comes out and all of a sudden there is life teeming in every corner. Flowers spring up from soil that looked bare and desolate before and all of a sudden there is an abundance of garden furniture on every terrace. Everyone begins working in their gardens and almost all cafe terraces are full of people enjoying ice-cream in the sun. Not to mention that after Faschings (a.k.a Carnivale) which is in held in late February, festivals and markets are held in almost every town and village every weekend so there really isn’t a lack of entertainment in Germany once spring has sprung.
I don’t know what it is about the slight rise in temperature but for some reason a lack of clouds is enough for Germans to crave ice-cream. Now I love ice-cream so I’m not going to say no to an invitation to go to a cafe and have a waffle with choc-hazelnut ice-cream but to me any temperature below 20 degrees still doesn’t seem to me like ideal ice-cream eating weather. Nevertheless, the terraces of cafes all throughout my small town in Bavaria have been full of people sitting around in their spring jackets (again being from Queensland this is a new concept to me) and eating ice-
cream as though it were a beautiful summer’s day.
I live in a relatively new estate here in Germany which means many gardens here, including our own, aren’t fully developed yet. Most gardens don’t have grass yet, there are no big, shady trees and there is a disappointing lack of flowers around. Because of this, ever since the first sunny day of spring this year, residents of all the houses around the neighbourhood have been out in their gardens planting flowers and trees, sowing seeds to grow grass for summer and building lawn furniture or garden toys. It is really lovely to see a community form around this seemingly yearly tradition as neighbours talk through their fences to one another and offer to lend a hand with putting together trampolines or outdoor dining suites. For an Australian like me seeing people out and about, smiling to one another and offering help and advice is really lovely and familiar as it is what I grew up knowing. In Central Queensland especially our weather means that we can be outdoors for 98% of our year and it’s not often that you walk by someone’s fence without seeing them outside hanging up the washing or watering their plants. In Germany however, winter makes everyone retreat indoors and for months there isn’t much sign of life outside from people, animals or plants and everything is so quiet and dull. The hustle and bustle of everyone’s spring emergence is so uplifting and exciting that you can’t help but want to be outdoors too!
Germany is big on Easter and being half-Austrian I was already familiar with German/Austrian Easter traditions but it has been a whole new experience seeing it being celebrated by almost everyone here. An Easter tradition that I love and my family have kept up ever since moving from Austria despite the fact Easter isn’t as big of a deal in Australia is decorating an easter tree/branch. This may seem ridiculous to any one who isn’t familiar with it but decorating the Easter tree each year is honestly one of my favourite parts of Easter. It’s essentially a leafless tree or a vase with a few bare branches with a few decorated eggs (plastic or actual real but empty egg shells) hung off it. In Australia
our Easter tree was always reserved to a few branches in a decorative vase adorned with the most beautiful crocheted eggs that a friend of ours made. Here in Germany, due to the fact that many trees are still dormant and bare from winter, people often hang plastic, painted eggs on the trees in their front gardens and it really brightens up the place and I love it!
The final and my favourite part about spring that I thought I should mention is the arrival of spring flowers! Unsurprisingly, I love flowers! Especially wildflowers (again, are you surprised?) which we don’t really get a lot of in central Australia so it was definitely the thing I was most excited to experience during my European spring. Once spring begins and the weather becomes warmer and brighter, flowers literally just start springing up everywhere, mind the unintentional pun! They pop up in cracks in the pavement, under trees and amidst fields of grass. Almost overnight every garden and field around was sprinkled with flowers in blue, purple, yellow and pink. My camera roll is littered with photos of flowers in every colour from my walks around town. I can’t get over seeing these flowers everywhere brightening every place they grow!
Let me know in the comments what your favourite thing about of spring in your part of the world.