‘Blue miracle’: The unusual way Hanover marks the start of Spring

The colour blue has a very special meaning for Hanover’s district of Linden – it marks the beginning of spring. Hanover-based writer Nele Schröder takes some time to explain the “blue miracle.”

'Blue miracle': The unusual way Hanover marks the start of Spring
Students dressing up to celebrate Hanover's 'Blue Miracle'. Photo: Nele Schröder

When you walk around Hanover during these first weeks of spring, usually between the end of March and through April, you’ll notice something: Many parks are covered in a blue carpet of flowers. Countless small, star-formed flowers start to bloom around the time spring starts and bring the first pop of colour after the winter.

These flowers are called Siberian Squill, or Scilla siberica in Latin. They actually come from the same family as asparagus.

As the name might suggest, the plant has its origins in Siberia, as well as Caucasia and Turkey and slowly spread over the rest of Europe, where it is celebrated as a highly valued ornamental garden plant.

In Hanover, scilla are immensely popular. Whenever they start blooming, you see strollers stopping by, taking pictures of the scilla. At school, the children have whole projects centred around the flowers, where they draw them and then collect and preserve them.

Children and adults alike are fascinated by the scilla flowers at the Lindener Berg cemetary. Photo: Nele Schröder

Why exactly the scilla flower and not, let’s say, snowdrops, which appear far earlier, carry that much meaning in Hanover doesn’t really have a fixed reason. But that doesn’t really matter – whatever the reason may be, it’s clear that people love them.

The obsession with the small blue flowers has been going on for over 20 years. Back then, the flowers, originating in Russia and Caucasian areas, started appearing on an inoperative cemetery on the Lindener Berg (Linden mountain) in one of Hanover’s biggest districts, Linden.

This cemetery itself has a long history: It was opened in 1862 as an Evangelical-Lutheran cemetery. Ever since the early 20th century, though, it was declared inoperative.

After World War I, a pavilion was built on the premises, which then served first as a memorial for those killed in the wars and later as a centre for arts and culture. Ever since the late 1960s, the cemetery has been declared a public park.

To this day, the cemetery is popular amongst many people for a weekend stroll and a look at the art exhibitions in the pavilion or the old gravestones.

Ever since it started blooming each year, the scilla rose to fame and is getting more and more recognition every year. In 2004, the association Quartier e.V. – which is located in the cemetery’s pavilion on said cemetery – started a collaboration with other nearby associations around the cemetery, like a jazz club and a beer garden. This collaboration started organising an annual, one-day celebration of the blue flowers.

For this celebration, up to 20,000 people get together on the cemetery each year to walk around and look at the flowers, accompanied by a programme of music, workshops and the opportunity to have a coffee around the cemetery.

The pavilion on the Lindener Berg cemetery. Photo: Nele Schröder

Next to this festival on the Lindener Berg (the “linden mountain”), there’s usually a spring festival inside the district of Linden. As well as on the mountain, that festival is all about the blue flowers – To go even further: The festival centres around the colour blue. It is even called “Das blaue Wunder” (“The blue miracle.”)

Many little shops and boutiques all around the district take part in the celebration by doing a so-called “Verkaufsoffener Sonntag” (a Sunday that is open for business – most shops in Germany are closed on Sundays). They usually present whatever blue products they are selling as well and mostly have special offers.

Not only Linden’s inhabitants, but also people from other districts take this opportunity to browse through Linden’s shops on a Sunday and try on blue hats, eat blue cotton candy or even buy some scillas for their own garden. There are music shows and presentations by local theatre groups for example, people present their art live or sell handmade goods and the whole district slowly wakes up from the cold winter to anticipate the upcoming spring.

Meanwhile, the whole district is decorated with blue garlands, and the first buds on the trees are garnished with blue tape.

Therefore, the “blue miracle” is a festival that, quite literally, turns Hanover blue for one day – in the best way possible.

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The five best Bavarian lakes for a spring day trip

Spring is coming to Bavaria - a little snow in April can not distract from that fact. And with the warm spring sun on your face, and greenery blossoming all around you, it's time to take a trip to the lake.

The five best Bavarian lakes for a spring day trip
Archive photo shows Königsee in Bavaria in 2018. Photo: DPA

Take a long, relaxed stroll, and perhaps a swim in the cold clear water (if you dare). If you’re still in need for inspiration, we’ve got you covered.

Here’s are five of Bavaria’s most beautiful lakes.


Honestly, this is not one of the lakes you would automatically think about if someone mentioned Bavarian lakes. Where’s the mountain view, where are the masses of tourists? But that’s exactly what makes it so charming.

READ ALSO: Eight beautiful Bavarian day trips you can’t miss

Almost completely surrounded by spruces, it feels like bathing in a forest. Especially in the morning or evening sun, this feels like a place that would exist in an old European fairy tale. Due to the acidity of the water (entirely harmless to the human skin) there are little fish and other aquatic animals in the lake, which adds to its mysteriousness.

The Fichtelsee is located in northern Bavaria, about half an hour northeast of Bayreuth.


Now this is the picture many tourists have in their mind when they hear Bavaria: clear, deep-blue water, surrounded by mountains and greenery. Some more idyllic details: the St.-Bartholomä-Church (situated beautifully in front of the Watzmann mountain) and the Schrainbach waterfall. Make sure to take a boat ride to experience the famous echo that can be heard on the lake. 

Located in the Berchtesgardener Land, the lake is located at the most southeastern point of Germany, bordering Austria. If you feel sporty, hike up the Grünstein and enjoy the view all over Königsee from above. (It’s worth it!)


The picturesque Eibsee in November 2020. Photo: DPA

Below Germany’s highest mountain lies one of its most breathtaking lakes. Eibsee has it all: Clear water to bathe in, a hiking trail that leads around the lake, and a gorgeous view at the Zugspitze. On a hike around the lake you are bound to find many other gems — little waterfalls, trees that grow in the water and the most instagrammable boulder in Germany. 

READ ALSO: Record-breaking cable car for tallest mountain in Germany to open

Located near Garmisch-Patenkirchen, about 1.5 hours south of Munich, the lake is easy and quick to reach, both by car and public transportation. And again: Austria’s not far, so why not make a quick trip to the other side and get some nice southern goodies.


Eibsee is not the only lake in Bavaria that is reminiscent of the Caribbean, or perhaps the Maldives. A deep turquoise color and quite little amount of minerals in the water, which makes the water feel incredibly ‘soft’ on your skin, makes all your swimming dreams come true.

A bonus: You can take the cable car (or hike) up to the Herzogstand and enjoy an amazing view of not only one, but two lakes — Walchensee on one side of the hill, Kochelsee on the other. 

Located about an hour south of Munich, it is a bit closer to the city than Eibsee, and therefore even easier to reach for a day trip.


Archive photo shows a hiker enjoying the mountainous views by Seealpsee. Photo: DPA

This is a really special lake. Why? Contrary to the other ones on this list, this lake is actually situated at 1,622 metres above sea level. (Munich for example is situated at about 520 meters.) Instead of looking up at the mountains, you will be in the middle of them.

That makes the lake also quite hard to reach. Instead of parking your car and walking for 10 minutes, prepare to take the Bergbahn (cable car), and for a subsequent hike that really should not be underestimated. There’s another way to get there: Hiking through the Oytal without taking the cable car. Please don’t take that way unless you’re an experienced hiker!

Swimming in the lake is not advisable, as the lake is very cold and deep, and has a complex underwater cave system that remains partially undiscovered until today. 

The lake is located near Oberstdorf, about two and a half hours by car from Munich.  To avoid confusion: There is another scenic lake in Switzerland that carries the same name.

By Lisa Schneider