Three weeks before Easter, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, towns across Germany say goodbye to winter and welcome spring with an event called Sommertagszug, which is one of the most exciting spring festivals in Germany.
Both locals and tourists love to attend Sommertagszug, and to watch the parade in which children carry sticks decorated with colourful ribbons to symbolise joy, topped with a pretzel to represent the sun, and an egg to symbolise life and fertility.
If you want to welcome spring in a different way this year, head to one of these spring festivals in Germany and you will be able to say goodbye to winter in a memorable way.
Spring Festivals in Germany: Heidelberg
Located on the River Neckar in beautiful countryside, Heidelberg is a vibrant university city surrounded by hills and home to an impressive castle, plus wonderfully friendly locals. The drive from Calais to Heidelberg takes six and a half hours, and it is just five hours from Rotterdam, making it accessible from both of these ports.
The Sommertagszug procession in Heidelberg takes place along the Hauptstrasse to the Marktplatz, where you will see dancers dressed as summer and winter battling on a stage, and a paper effigy of winter being burned. Pretzels will be handed out to the crowd too, so you will get the chance to try this tasty German treat.
Spring Festivals in Germany: Speyer
Just over six hours by car from Calais, and 5 hours by car from Rotterdam, you will find Speyer, one of Germany’s oldest cities, and home to another fantastic Sommertagszug event. Boasting a UNESCO recognised cathedral and a number of stunning churches, Speyer is set on the River Rhine which is a truly beautiful location.
Typically, more than 1000 children take part in Speyer’s Sommertagszug parade, and they all wear colourful costumes that they make themselves in the lead up to the festivities. Once the parade is over, and the snowman effigy has been burned in the cathedral garden, you can enjoy fairground rides and traditional delicacies from a number of food stands.
Spring Festivals in Germany: Weinheim
Home to two castles, a traditional historical district at its centre, and a delightful square full of cafés, wine bars, and restaurants, Weinheim is a fabulous place to visit any time of year. With plenty of green spaces, including parks, gardens, and forest areas, you’ll find lots to see and do here, particularly during the Sommertagszug festivities.
The parade starts at St Peter’s Church and travels along the main street until it reaches the Market Square, where spectators can see the burning of the snowman. Song is a big part of these spring festivals in Germany, and Weinheim rewards its best singers, costumes, and decorative sticks with prizes once it is over.
If you are looking for something different to do in the run up to Easter this year, book your trip to one of these spring festivals in Germany today and say goodbye to winter in style.