Every season brings something to look forward to here in Germany. My personal favourite? Without a doubt, Autumn. There are many reasons to embrace all things autumnal and lovely in Germany. For a start, the weather. As we bid goodbye to Summer, and this year was a scorcher, its nice to settle into the cooler days. The intense Summer heat is gone, but there is still enough warmth to get out and about and enjoy the crisp autumnal days. Germans refer to this last warm spell as altweibesommer or Indian Summer . The locals still look at me funny when I’m sporting flip flops in October though. I guess as much as I love Autumn, part of me does cling to Summer!
These cooler-but-still-pleasant warmer days lend themselves beautifully to getting outdoorsy. Walking or cycling is an absolute pleasure on a crisp Autumn day. The town parks are a riot of colour as the leaves turn and it’s not uncommon to spot some local wildlife such as deer or red squirrels. Not to mention the fact that the parks are significantly quieter now the children have returned to school following summer break- would it be really mean to list that as something to love about Autumn?
Festivals! I’m not sure there is a festival season as such in Germany, there seems to be something going on pretty much all the time. Despite having a reputation for being somewhat uptight, the Germans really do love to celebrate. Autumn sees the arrival of possibly the best known German festival- Oktoberfest. Originating in October in 1810 to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, Oktoberfest now begins in September and is an event for young and old. Don’t worry if you can’t get to Munich though (or don’t fancy paying the premium prices the original Oktoberfest attracts!) as most places will have their own celebrations in the same vein. This weekend my family and I enjoyed visiting our local town festival ‘stadtfest’, complete with fairground rides, food stands and its own Oktoberfest inspired beer tent including a traditional brass band. It was also cheerful to see how many locals and ex pats had dusted off their dirndls and lederhosen to get into the spirit of things !Think Germany, think Autumn, think pumpkins. Of every conceivable size and shape. They eat them, they decorate with them, they carve them, they sell them everywhere. Pumpkins are definitely a thing here. And its something I’ve embraced, I love incorporating autumnal touches into my home. I picked up the mini squash and antlers pictured below in my local shops. Don’t worry, no deer were harmed in the name of interior decor, the antlers are ceramic. Sadly, I’m yet to find a pumpkin recipe I truly enjoy though, so perhaps they are best kept as an interior flourish or for Halloween carving!
Such is the pumpkin love here, and this takes me back to my previous point about festivals, there are even festivals celebrating the humble squash. The Ludwigsburg Pumpkin festival is a pumpkin themed delight, you’ll find details here . It runs until November so we might make it there this year yet.Who knows, maybe I’ll even find a pumpkin based dish there I like!
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Until next time,