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Seven unmissable events in Germany in June 2019

From asparagus festivals to open-air music extravaganzas, here are our picks for the top events in June.

Seven unmissable events in Germany in June 2019
Schwerin's impressive castle lit up during the 2018 Schlossfest. Photo: DPA

Asparagus Festival, Beelitz, May 31st-June 2nd

Beelitz's 2019 Asparagus Princess Kristin Reich presents the first harvest of 'Spargel' of the season. Photo: DPA

Beelitz may only be a small town in Brandenburg with a population of just over 11,000. But it’s known across the Bundesrepublik as a core grower and supplier of Spargel (asparagus), that beloved vegetable that has whole menus devoted to it during the Spargelzeit.

As the season comes to an end in June, the Spargelstadt hosts a huge family-friendly festival complete with cook-offs, dancing and music and, yes, a giant Spargelman walking around to greet visitors.

Jazz Rally, Düsseldorf, June 6th-9th

Jazz musician and composer Klaus Doldinger poses at Düsseldorf's 2014 Jazz Rally. Photo: DPA

If you’re a jazz fan, you won’t want to miss Germany’s largest jazz festival, now in its 26th year. A full 68 artists by the likes of guitarist Nik West and swing saxophonist Harry Allen will be showing off their talent on 29 stages at diverse locations around the city, from cozy bookstores to historic buildings.

Thursday’s opening event, in which the Dominic Galea Quartet takes to the stage, will take place in the Düsseldorf’s stunning Rathaus, which dates back to the 16th century.

Schwerin Schlossfest, Schwerin, June 14-16th

People in period costumes took to the streets of Schwerin in the 2013 Schlossfest. Photo: DPA

The picturesque northeast German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania tends to be underappreciated by tourists. But June is the perfect time to pay a visit to its capital, which is hosting a classy costumed festival in and around its impressive castle, often dubbed the “Neuschwanstein of the North.”

Visitors, many of which come decked out in period costume from the 19th century, can partake in a range of activities, such as an arts and crafts fair, a light and laser music festival at the foot of the castle and of course the yearly crowning of the “king and queen.”

Strawberry Festival, Hamburg, June 15th and 16th

Women in Hamburg eating the summery treat along the harbour. Photo: DPA

Just like with asparagus, Germans go crazy over Erdbeeren when the summer season arrives. Several cities across the country fill with red strawberry-shaped stands or hold festivals devoted to the sweet treat.

But few are in as idyllic of a setting as Hamburg’s Rieck Open Air Museum, where visitors can watch traditional costume dances and taste a range of regional products, especially those with strawberries.

Féte de la Musique, Berlin, June 21st

Music lovers fill Mauerpark during one Fête in 2012. Photo: DPA

Having taken place each year since 1995, the free live music festival Fête de la Musique presents over 100 artists ranging from experimental percussionists to chamber musicians  in all corners of the capital.

No Fête would be complete without its core celebration in Mauerpark. Here, jam sessions will take place against a graffiti-sprayed backdrop. The celebrations officially end at 10pm but after-parties stretching into the wee hours of the morning make it a distinctly Berlin festival.

Kiel Week, Kiel, June 22-30th

Kiel Week in June 2018. Photo: DPA

Not only is Kiel Week the largest sailing event in the world, with over 2,000 types of boats, ships and sailboards taking part, it's also a sprawling open air festival that annually attracts some three million visitors from Germany and abroad.

What started out as a sailing festival in the state of Schleswig-Holstein's picturesque capital is now the biggest summer festival in northern Europe, replete with several stages of live music, stand-up comedy and an international food festival.

From rooftops to street corners across various neighbourhoods in Berlin, the city comes alive with the sound of music to mark the first day of summer on Thursday, June 21st.

Elbhangsfest, Dresden, June 28th-30th

The Weinbergkirche in Pillnitz, one of the idyllic stops on the Elbhangfest's seven km stretch. Photo: DPA

There are few places as picturesque to ring in the first days of summer as along the Elbe River, which flows through Dresden, and its surroundings. Over 700 events are taking place along a seven kilometre stretch, which also goes through the surrounding villages of Loschwitz, Wachwitz and Pillnitz.

The event kicks off with a fun opening day parade, and each day is filled with music, regional food and tours of local architectural gems, such as the Weinbergkirche in Pillnitz.

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LIVING IN GERMANY

REVEALED: The most commonly asked questions about Germans and Germany

Ever wondered what the world is asking about Germany and the Germans? We looked at Google’s most searched results to find out – and help clear some of these queries up.

Oktoberfest
Hasan Salihamidzic, the sports director of FC Bayern, arrives with his wife at Oktoberfest in full traditional dress. Photo: picture alliance/dpa |

According to popular searches, Germany is the go-to place for good coffee and bread (although only if you like the hard kind) and the place to avoid if what you’re looking for is good food, good internet connection and low taxes. Of course, this is subjective; some people will travel long stretches to get a fresh, hot pretzel or a juicy Bratwurst, while others will take a hard pass.

When it comes to the question on the bad Internet – there is some truth to this. German is known for being behind other rich nations when it comes to connectivity. And from personal experience, the internet connection can seem a little medieval. The incoming German coalition government has, however, vowed to improve internet connectivity as part of their plans to modernise the country.

There are also frequent questions on learning the German language, and people pointing out that it is hard and complicated. This is probably due to the long compound words and its extensive grammar rules, however, as both English and German are Germanic languages with similar words in common, it’s not impossible to learn as an English-speaker.

Here’s a look at some of those questions…

Why is German called Deutsch? Whereas ‘German’ comes from the Latin, ‘Deutsch’ instead derives itself from the Indo-European root “þeudō”, meaning “people”. This slowly became “Deutsch” as we know it today. It can be a bit confusing to English-speakers, who are right to think it sounds a little more like “Dutch”, however the two languages do have the same roots which may explain it.

And why is Germany so boring? Again, probably a generalisation, especially given that Germany has a landmass of over 350,000 km² with areas ranging from high rise, industrial cities to traditional old town villages and even mountain ranges, so you’re sure to find a place that doesn’t bore you to tears.

Perhaps it is a question that comes from the stereotype that Germans are obsessed with strict about rules, organised and analytical. Or that they have no sense of humour – all of these things being not the most exciting traits. 

Either way, from my experience I can confirm that, even though there is truth to German society enjoying order and rules, the vast majority of people are not boring, and I’m sure if you come to Germany you’ll meet many interesting, funny and exciting people. 

READ ALSO: 12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Germany

When it comes to the German weather, most people assume a cold and cloudy climate, however this isn’t entirely true. While the autumn and winter, especially in the north, comes with grey skies and sub-zero temperatures, Germany can have some beautiful summers, with temperatures frequently rising above 30C in some places.

Unsurprisingly, the power and wealth of the German nation is mentioned – Germany is the largest economy in Europe after all, with a GDP of 3.8 trillion dollars. This could be due to strong industry sectors in the country, including vehicle constructions (I was a little surprised to find no questions posed on German cars), chemical and electrical industry and engineering. There are also many strong economic cities in Germany, most notably Munich, Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg.

READ ALSO: Eight unique words and phrases that tell us something about Germany

Smart and tall?

Why are Germans so tall? They are indeed taller than many other nations, with the average German measuring a good 172.87cm (or 5 feet 8.06 inches), however this may be a question better posed to the Dutch, who make up the tallest people in the world.

Why are Germans so smart? While this is again a generalisation – as individuals have different levels of intelligence in all countries – this question may stem from Germany’s free higher education system or their seemingly efficient work ethic. Plus there does seem to be some scientific research behind this question, with a study done in 2006 finding that Germans had the highest IQ in Europe.

So, while many of the questions posed about Germany and Germans on Google stem from stereotypes, we can confirm that some aren’t entirely made up. If you’re looking to debunk some frequently asked questions about France and the French, check out this article by our sister site HERE.

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