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„An ambigious relationship- the Germans and their weather“

If you’re out on the street anywhere in Germany, you’ll often overhear conversations like: „Heute schon wieder. Grau in grau. Nimmt das denn kein Ende?“ (Again today. Grey in grey. Does that never end?). If you’re still not sure what is meant by that, I’ll give it away. Yes- they are talking about the weather and complaining.

It seems the be the small talk topic number one and you can never go wrong by beginning a conversation with that topic. I promise- it will never fail you! Furthermore, Germans tend to complain about the weather all around the year – so it never gets boring! For them it’s either:

wetter

too hot, or too cold, too wet, or too windy!
And if you’re really tough (there are some rare specimen out there), you’d go with the expression „there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes“. This is typical German, logic and inarguable.

After hearing so much how bad the weather is, you’ll probably image scenarios like tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes. Here you’re wrong though.Tornadoes have been known to be spotted in in some areas, but in most occasions they are very minor and cause little or no casualties.

Concerning the weather, Germany has a temperate climate with four distinctive seasons. In all of those seasons, the weather can be unpredictable, so it’s actually hard to plan in advance if you e.g. want to have a garden party outside because the weather can change quickly. As for the different seasons, here is a rough overview.

Spring
After the long and almost sunless days, it’s a relieve to finally be able to go out again and enjoy the first rays of the sun! Even though you missed the sun very much, be careful, because it’s still quite chilly out and not time yet to go wild and wear T-Shirts and shorts. Sometimes there can even be late snow towards at the end of March which makes the Easter hunt quite complicated. During this time of the year, people seem to be much happier and „Frühlingsgefühle“ (spring fever) are being awakened – this is the time where the most couples start dating.

fruehling

Summer

In Summer, you can finally enjoy sunny and long days with nice temperatures between 70° to 80° degrees F. In the North of Germany, it can even stay light out way until 10.30 pm at night. This is the time to have garden parties, go swimming in nearby lakes, ride your bike, have barbecues (German LOVE barbecues with Bratwurst and beer), or just have a picknick outside. But don’t underestimate German summers- they are not always nice. Sometimes it can be too hot (and everyone is complaining since we don’t have a lot of air conditioners) or too wet. The precipitation is still high and a „summer rain“ might catch you by surprise!

Grilling at summer weekend

Fall

Everyone loves the fall- or not? For my part, I love when the leaves turn brown, red, yellow and there is a crackling sound when you walk over them. Especially in September and October the weather can still be very pleasant and sometimes nature gives us a „Altweibersommer“ (Indian summer) to enjoy the colorful foliage a litte longer. As for all seasons, weather can be unpredictable, and it can get quite cold and rainy very fast. Once November settles in, the weather gets quite uncomfortable- with shorter, colder and grayer days.

herbst

Winter

Last but not least, there is the winter. At least once a year, Germany gets blessed with a „Winter Wonderland“. Temperatures can drop fast below zero and it’s time to bundle up. This means it’s finally time for winter sports – skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing etc. Especially the Bavarian Alps are a famous location for that. If one is lucky, there is a white Christmas as well. But this is not always the case and it can be replaced by long, gray and rainy days. During winter time, a lot of people get depressed and feel less motivated and sleepy.

Schnee in Oberbayern

All in all, the weather in Germany has its own charm. Yes, it can be quite nerve-racking, but once the sun is out or snow is there, Germans seem to enjoy this a lot more and try to spend as much time outside as possible. This is also the reason why Germans have an ambigious relationship with the weather- they either curse it or love it.

Ok- just one last interesting fact I found out and I’d like to share with you. There is one interesting myth, which people tend to know. It’s the myth of the „Wetterfrosch“ (weather frog) which is based on the observation that tree frogs climb up plants when the weather is sunny. This behavior can easily be explained: when it’s warmer, all the insects fly higher than when it’s colder. Out of this observation, people thought that frogs could not only show the current condition of weather, but also forcast it. In earlier times, people locked frogs in a glass with a small ladder. If the frog went up, this meant that good weather would be coming. If he stayed down though, the forecast was bad weather. Nowadays, people still call meterologist „Wetterfrosch“ to tease them.

wetterfrosch_preussenadler

So if you’re interested in the weather- try to go to Germany all year round, and then you’ll know what I’m talking about 😉 And try not to trip over one of those famous “Wetterfrösche”!

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