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Eight corona-safe events not to miss in Germany in October 2020

Despite the coronavirus and restrictions which followed, there are still several socially distanced events taking place around the country. Here are our top picks.

Eight corona-safe events not to miss in Germany in October 2020
One of the displays at the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival in 2019. Photo: DPA

The coronavirus pandemic has significantly disrupted Germany’s events calendar this year, with staple celebrations such as Oktoberfest being cancelled due to safety concerns.

But despite restrictions, organisers have adapted to the circumstances and put together corona-safe events that can be enjoyed by all (albeit at a safe distance).

Here are some of the most exciting events to look out for in October:

German Unity Day Exhibition: September 5th – October 4th

The commemorative exhibition is running over thirty days to allow social distancing to be maintained. Photo: DPA

The Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day) is one of the nine nationwide public holidays in Germany and takes place on October 3rd every year. 

It commemorates the formal completion of the reunification process between the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) after decades of division. 

It is normally celebrated with open air concerts and attractions in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, but due to coronavirus things will look slightly different this year. 

READ ALSO: 10 things you never knew about German Reunification

A special anniversary celebration on October 3rd at Potsdam’s Metropolis will be attended by only 240 guests, six times fewer than originally planned. 

The event, which includes performances from musicians and interviews, will be broadcast for people to watch on television. 

There’s also no need to miss out on celebrating entirely – a special open air exhibition is running in Potsdam, the capital of Brandenburg, until October 4th. 

The exhibition has been extended to last thirty days to ensure that a safe distance can be maintained amongst visitors. 

Berlin Leuchtet Illuminations: September 25th – October 4th

The light show at the Brandenburg Gate this year celebrates 30 years of German unity. Photo: DPA

It’s not too late to catch the tail end of Berlin’s spectacular illumination festival. As the darker evenings draw in, many of the city’s landmarks are being lit up with colourful projections, videos and laser shows.

The illuminated buildings are scattered all over the city, with some highlights including Gendarmenmarkt, the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column in Tiergarten. 

It is asked that visitors maintain 1.5 metres distance and the wearing of face masks is recommended. 

Halloween Horror Festival at Movie Park Germany: October 1st – November 8th

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

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Be warned: this event is most definitely not for the faint hearted! Head to Bottrop on North-Rhine Westphalia to test your wits in the horror mazes at Germany’s most popular Halloween Festival.

Various spooky attractions including gut-churning rides, live entertainment and haunted houses await those brave enough to visit, although most are only suited for those above the age of 16.

The park is open every Thursday to Sunday in October, as well as on November 1st and November 6th – 8th. 

Advance booking is essential due to strict capacity limits, and no costumes are allowed – the only masks permitted this year are the mouth-nose coverings that prevent the spread of the virus!

European Month of Photography: October 1st – October 31st

The European Month of Photography has something to offer for everyone. Photo: DPA

This October sees Germany’s largest photography festival return to Berlin. The event has taken place every other year since 2004, and offers a wide range of exhibitions for photography enthusiasts to enjoy. 

For the whole month of October, 100 galleries, photography schools, museums and other cultural institutions will offer the public a chance to see incredible work from 500 artists across Europe.

Exhibitions can be found all across the capital and also in the nearby city of Potsdam.

Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival: August 28th – December 6th 

The festival boasts impressive pumpkin displays and fun-filled activities. Photo: DPA

A trip to Ludwigsburg is an essential for all those in awe of autumn, and makes for a fun day out for the whole family.

This year’s theme is music, with various impressive pumpkin displays paying tribute to famous artists ranging from Elvis to the Rolling Stones.

The programme also boasts an array of other activities: try your hand at pumpkin carving, sample pumpkin flavoured specialties or visit the pumpkin Santa Claus tent to get in the festive mood!

German Mozart Festival Augsburg: October 9th – October 31st

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

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Classical music fans won’t want to miss this celebration of the two of the greatest composers of all time, Beethoven and Mozart.

The German town of Augsburg, birthplace of Leopold Mozart (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s father), is hosting various concerts to celebrate the life and work of these two classical titans. 

Events range from lower-key chamber music recitals to large-scale renditions of their most impressive symphonies, and includes performances from renowned soloists and orchestras. 

READ ALSO: The show must go on: How German orchestras are continuing concerts amid the pandemic

Games Week Berlin: October 28th – October 30th 

The gaming conference may be online this year, but there is still lots on offer. Photo: DPA

This year’s Games Week won’t be held in Berlin’s Kulturbrauerei as normal, but game lovers need not fear – an extensive online programme is available for everyone to enjoy. 

The festival’s three strands – “Play Experience”, “Pro Experience” and “Art Experience” – offer something for everyone, from gaming enthusiasts to industry creatives. 

Live ‘let’s plays’, multiplayer tournaments, interviews with gaming influencers and game development conferences are just some of the events available to those who purchase an online ticket.  

Wine tasting along the Deutsche Weinstraße – Various dates in October

Despite cancellations, there are still plenty of chances to try some German wine. Photo: DPA

September and October marks grape harvesting season in Germany, meaning it is the perfect time to taste some of the best wines the country has to offer. 

Sadly, many of the wine festivals that usually take place along the German Wine Route have been cancelled this year, but there are still ample opportunities that are too good to miss.

Take a weekend trip to the Bacchus Wine Festival in the town of Bad Dürkheim in Rhineland-Palatinate, where you’ll find live music, delicious food and plenty of wine.

Similar delights await visitors in the nearby Weisenheim am Sand, albeit at reduced capacity. The company BottleStops also offers group and private tours to visitors who want to get a taste of local wineries, a majority which are currently open.

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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. Germany 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 being 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, come 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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