Spring Fever: Blossoms and Easter Bonfires
The sun is warming the air, the days are getting longer, everywhere things are budding and blossoming: it's spring in Germany - time for getaways, blossom festivals, asparagus feasting and popular Easter traditions.
Spring bathes the world in soft pastel colours. Even before the trees are completely green, a carpet of blossoms covers many regions of the country. The Southern Wine Route in the Palatinate region is particularly magical during the almond blossom season. Visitors walk along avenues of pale pink almond trees or picnic under a canopy of blossoms. The cherry blossoms in Bonn are another famous attraction. Japanese carnation cherries line the streets and intertwine their branches so that walkers have the impression of strolling under a canopy of blossoms. Spring arrives particularly early at Lake Constance in the south of Germany. The moment the sun grows more intense and the temperatures become balmier, the buds of the fruit trees burst open and transform the region into a sea of blossoms. Then spring festivals, romantic hikes, wonderful bike tours and boat trips with views of the embankments and the Alpine scenery beckon visitors.
Easter Bonfires and Chocolate Bunnies
The Easter festival heralds the arrival of spring for many: birch and cherry blossom branches are decorated with Easter decorations, Easter nests with chocolate eggs and small gifts are hidden in the budding landscape on Easter Sunday. Children especially love this festival. First they paint eggs with bright colours and eagerly await the Easter Bunny, who is considered the messenger of spring and brings them sweets. In some regions of Germany, Easter is associated with special traditions. In northern Germany in particular, and especially in Lower Saxony, huge Easter bonfires are lit in a centuries-old tradition. Here, young and old get together for some good times. In the Harz mountains, people blacken their faces with soot. Bavaria has its very own traditions. For example, on Good Friday, altar boys parade through the streets swinging wooden rattles. When they go to 'Fetch the Rooster', the young men use ladders to climb up to the window of their lady love and retrieve small gifts.
"Veronika, der Lenz ist da" (Veronica, Spring is here) is the name of a song sung everywhere in Germany at the beginning of spring, which also mentions that asparagus grows at this time of year. Indeed, this noble vegetable celebrates its peak season in many German fields from April to June. Particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia, asparagus cultivation is a long-standing tradition. Here, they say, the tasty white spears are particularly sweet and nutty. There is even an asparagus queen crowned every other year. During high season, there are many delights to be enjoyed along the asparagus route. The Altmark region in Saxony-Anhalt also has a springtime focus on asparagus. This idyllic region with its many cultural treasures invites you to indulge in a culinary holiday and serves all kinds of delicious dishes based on this popular - and very healthy - vegetable.
Into the Countryside
The yearning for the blossoming of nature is particularly strong after the dark winters. The Spreewald Biosphere Reserve in Brandenburg with its watercourses, meadows and forests is one of the most beautiful places for experiencing with all your senses how both plants and animals awaken from hibernation. 18,000 animal and plant species conjure up a natural paradise that resembles a painting of infinite shades of green. In spring, bright yellow marsh marigolds provide splashes of colour. Lapwings nest in the treetops and a croaking concert of frogs in the water provides the background music. Countless tours by paddle boat, bicycle or on foot entice you to take excursions through this magical lagoon landscape, from whose enchantment no one can escape, especially in the springtime.