German Word of the Day: Der Kürbis

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German Word of the Day: Der Kürbis
Photo: Depositphotos

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany today, maybe you are heading to the shops to pick up a pumpkin. Here's the German word so you know what you're looking for.


The Germans love pumpkins; supermarkets are currently full of beautiful squashes and pumpkins in orange, yellow and green, whilst shopfronts are also decorated with the orange fruit. Kürbissuppe (pumpkin or squash soup) is the warm delight of the season all around Germany as Herbst (autumn) ends and winter begins. 

You might also need to know the word for winter squash (Bisam-Kürbis) and butternut squash (simply Butternut-Kürbis), both favourites in soup, often topped with seeds from the squash when served at restaurants in Germany. Coming from the same family of squash, a gourd is referred to as a Feigenblatt-Kürbis.

The largest Pumpkin Festival in the world at Ludwigsburg Palace in Baden-Württemberg displayed more than 450,000 pumpkins in October, before an impressive winner was selected at the end of the month.

This year's winners of the Heaviest German Pumpkin at the Ludwigsburg festival celebrate with their 795kg pumpkin. Photo: DPA

Carved pumpkins as part of the American tradition of Halloween are now also widespread in Germany, although the red kuri squashes which are popular as food are too difficult to carve. Instead, you can find a traditional orange pumpkin in the supermarket to take home and show off your artistic talents.   

Just ask the supermarket assistant: 'Wo finde ich einen Kürbis?' (Where can I find a pumpkin?)


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Anonymous 2018/11/26 23:03
Halloween is not an American Tradition. Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain (pronounced sow-in). Samhain is the Gaelic term for November. The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. <br />

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