Why there are so many rainbows on German windows and footpaths

After lockdown restrictions caused school and playground closures across Germany, children have been using art to spread colour and cheer.

Why there are so many rainbows on German windows and footpaths
A rainbow in a window in Saarland on March 25th. Photo: DPA

Whether you walk looking down, around or up, it would be hard not to have noticed them. With their images of rainbows, German children are proving that you can never be too young or small to make a difference.





Regenbogen helfen den kleinsten, sich nicht alleine zu fühlen. ? Vielen Dank für diese tolle Aktion #coronacare , ich finde die Idee so unglaublich süß und toll. Heute haben wir zwar keinen Regenbogen ans Fenster geklebt, dafür aber fleißig mit Kreide gemalt. ? Wenn wir spazieren gehen und einen bunten Regenbogen sehen, halten wir an, zählen die Bögen und meine kleine (Entschuldigung „große“) Maus weiß das sie nicht alleine zu Hause ist. ? Vergesst bitte niemals, dass die Situation auch für unsere Kinder sehr schwierig ist. Keine Verabredungen und kein Kindergarten/Schule o.ä. Behaltet eure Routine bei, hört euren Kindern zu. Redet miteinander, nehmt euch die Zeit schöne Sachen zu unternehmen und spielt zusammen.❤️ Unsere Kinder haben „nur uns“ und genau UNS brauchen sie jetzt am meisten. In diesem Sinne haltet alle durch. Ich habe großen Respekt an alle dort draußen die mit ihren Kindern (eins, zwei, vielleicht sogar drei ?) zuhause bleiben und versuchen die ausfallende Zeit zu kompensieren ?. Ihr seid toll! ❤️ Was macht ihr mit euren Kindern den ganzen Tag ? ?? _______________________________________________________ #coronakrise #wirgegencorona #lebenmitkindern #regenbogen #alleswirdgut #dubistnichtallein #kreidebilder #spielenstattpanik

A post shared by ??????? ! (@kirstinsgluecksmoment) on Mar 26, 2020 at 11:17am PDT

The last few weeks children all over the country have been taking to footpaths, doors, walls, balconies and windows to leave an important message of hope to other young ones and passersby.

The rainbows, which come in the form of chalk drawings on the street, paper artwork hanging in windows and from balconies, intentionally face street side so that they can be spotted.

The movement appears to have started in Italy when, on March 14th, Italians nationwide joined one another in displaying rainbows on posters or bed sheets and hung them on balconies.

It was an activity to encourage hope, and as a creative outlet for children stuck indoors. The rainbows were also accompanied by the message “Andrà tutto bene” – everything will be fine. 

The rainbow movement has also taken off in other countries across the globe over the past month including the U.S, the U.K, Canada, Spain and Austria.

It’s been heartwarming to see it take form here in Germany too. The increased participation in the movement is no surprise either as more and more people have been forced to stay at home.

Since March 16th, most schools including daycares closed across Germany, leaving children at home several weeks before the scheduled Easter holidays.

READ ALSO: All German states announce school and kita closures

Since March 22nd businesses and free movement have been, and continue to be, restricted. It is exactly at this time that the “Regenbogen Aktion” – rainbow campaign, as it is referred to on Instagram, seems to have started in Germany.

The hugely popular social media platform has helped fuel the colourful initiative with more and more parents posting rainbow pictures made by their children, as well as people posting rainbows they've spotted from the street. 

The rainbows are often accompanied with the hashtags or message “Bleibt Gesund” (stay healthy), “Wir bleiben zu Hause” (we’re staying home), “Ihr seid nicht allein” (you’re not alone), and “Alles wird gut” (Everything will be fine). Sometimes the children also include their names.

In Germany, the movement has been mainly circulated by parents via social media. Apart from being a fun activity for the children who have so much free time, it also serves to raise their spirits. 

With playgrounds closed and bans on gatherings with more than two people, children are unable to play with their friends or see family members.

READ ALSO: Germany bans gatherings of more than two to control coronavirus spread

As a result, when children see the rainbows it allows them to identify the homes of other children also staying home, and know that they too are not alone.

Many of the re-grammed Instagram posts that share details about the movement, also encourage the children to go on a rainbow hunt and count how many rainbows they see out and about.





{Regenbogen Aktion} . Kinder malen einen Regenbogen und kleben ihn an die Fenster oder an die Tür. Andere Kinder können auf ihrem Spaziergang den Regenbogen suchen und zählen. Gleichzeitig sehen sie, dass eine Menge anderer Kinder/Familien gerade auch zu Hause bleiben. . Lasst uns die Welt ein bisschen bunter machen! Und teilt noch mehr wunderschöne Bastelarbeiten unter dem Hashtag #regenbogengegencorona ich freu mich riesig über so viele wunderschöne Regenbögen. Leider kann ich nicht mehr als 10 Bilder hochladen, also blättert mal durch und schaut selbst ?❤️ . . . #stayathome #flattenthecurve #familienalltag #lebenmitkind #familienleben #regenbogenaktion #rainbow #regenbogen #wirsindmehr #zusammenhalt #kreativ #berlin

A post shared by Anne Kuhlmann (@dein.mamagefuehl) on Mar 23, 2020 at 9:34am PDT

It’s not just children that are taking part in the movement either. The positive messaging has also lead adults to take photos of and with rainbows.

Image of man placing his shoes in between a rainbow chalk drawing on the footpath by @jonaskozi: 





#regenbogenaktion ⠀ ⠀ Die tolle Idee mit den Regenbogen habt ihr hier auf Instagram sicher schon mitbekommen, ursprünglich stammt sie aus Italien. Kinder malen einen Regenbogen und kleben ihn an die Fenster oder Türen. Andere Kinder können auf ihrem Spaziergang die Regenbogen suchen und zählen. Gleichzeitig sehen sie, dass auch andere Kinder gerade, wie sie, zu Hause bleiben müssen?⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Alles was du brauchst ist Hoffnung und Kraft! ⠀ ⠀ Die Hoffnung, dass alles irgendwann besser wird und die Kraft bis dahin durchzuhalten.⠀ ⠀ ⠀ Habt ihr schon Regenbogen gemalt? ? ⠀ ⠀ ____⠀ #ᖯlogger #wirbleibenzuhause #regenbogen #regenbogengegencorona #wirsindmehr #dubistnichtallein #GemeinsamGehtAlles #spielenstattpanik #lovеаthome | #li?estyle

A post shared by jonas | papablogger (@jonaskozi) on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:01am PDT

Institutions, organisations and businesses across Germany are also adding rainbows to their doors and windows to boost morale.

With warmer days forecasted in the coming week, and the COVID-19 restrictions extended until at least April 19th, the rainbows will continue to provide a symbol of reassurance and hope to children and adults not only in Germany, but everywhere.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

German health ministers say that tougher Covid restrictions should come back into force if a serious wave emerges in autumn.

Germany should prepare for Covid wave in autumn, ministers warn

Following a video meeting on Monday, the health ministers of Germany’s 16 states said tougher restrictions should be imposed again if they are needed. 

“The corona pandemic is not over yet – we must not be deceived by the current declining incidences,” said Saxony-Anhalt’s health minister Petra Grimm-Benne, of the Social Democrats, who currently chairs the Conference of Health Ministers (GMK).

According to the GMK, new virus variants are expected to appear in autumn and winter. Over the weekend, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also warned that the more dangerous Delta variant could return to Germany. “That is why the federal Ministry of Health should draw up a master plan to combat the corona pandemic as soon as possible and coordinate it with the states,” Grimm-Benne said.

Preparations should also include an amendment of the Infection Protection Act, ministers urged. They want to see the states given powers to react to the infection situation in autumn and winter. They called on the government to initiate the legislative process in a timely manner, and get the states actively involved.

The current Infection Protection Act expires on September 23rd this year. Germany has loosened much of its Covid restrictions in the last months, however, face masks are still compulsory on public transport as well as on planes. 

READ ALSO: Do people in Germany still have to wear Covid masks on planes?

The health ministers said that from autumn onwards, it should be possible for states to make masks compulsory indoors if the regional infection situation calls for it. Previously, wearing a Covid mask was obligatory in Germany when shopping and in restaurants and bars when not sitting at a table. 

Furthermore, the so-called 3G rule for accessing some venues and facilities – where people have to present proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test – should be implemented again if needed, as well as other infection protection rules, the ministers said. 

Bavaria’s health minister Klaus Holetschek, of the CSU, welcomed the ministers’ unanimous call for a revision of the Infection Protection Act. “The states must be able to take all necessary infection protection measures quickly, effectively, and with legal certainty,” he said.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s health minister Karl-Josef Laumann (CDU) warned that no one should “lull themselves into a false sense of security”.

“We must now prepare for the colder season and use the time to be able to answer important questions about the immunity of the population or the mechanisms of infection chains,” he said.

On Tuesday, Germany reported 86,253 Covid infections within the latest 24 hour period, as well as 215 Covid-related deaths. The 7-day incidence stood at 437.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, experts believe there could be twice as many infections because lots of cases go unreported. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about the Covid pandemic in Germany right now