Spring has arrived in Germany and with it has brought Easter markets, spring festivals, and warmer weather. However, it also brought in a nasty virus. Everyone in Brock’s music class had it, and we were the last to get hit. It wiped us out for a couple weeks so we missed the opening Easter market and some other events, but thankfully we were feeling recovered enough to get out this past weekend. As is usually the case we had a few options for where to spend our day out. We opted for the Spring Parade (Sommertagszug) in Speyer and we were glad we did!
We got to the city just in time to join the parade. The parade started at the city gates and traveled through the old town, past the church to an open park. It wasn’t so much of a parade as it was a procession. There was a marching band up front playing children’s music— I remember hearing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star more than once, followed by some school children dressed for spring with colorful ponchos and flowers, and finally on a horse drawn cart was the snowman. Not much to the parade, but the mass of people following the parade is what was impressive. Thousands of people, us included, followed the snowman to the park. It was mostly families with small children, and many of them had sticks covered in colorful tissue paper. Some of the sticks were holding a pretzel on the end.
Once the procession reached the park an announcer read some words, some children performed and then the fireman came out. He doused the bottom of the snowman in gasoline and then lit him up! This is done to symbolize the end of winter, and I can’t think of a better way to do it! I was surprised though that there was no cheering. Everyone quietly observed the flames quickly eating up Frosty.
I tried to research this tradition but did not have much luck. Speyer doesn’t even advertise the event on their events website. But what I could find is that it is a children’s event to welcome spring and say goodbye to winter.
After all that excitement we walked the old town a bit. There was a lot of beautiful architecture but no “destinations” for us to check out like we usually have on the list. But here is what we saw:
We have had a pretty busy week since then getting caught up but this upcoming weekend we will finally make it to a Easter market (Ostermarkt). Fil finally got connected to the local fishing club and on Saturday at their river clean up he will be told if they voted him in or not. If they accept him he will finally be able to fish the river in walking distance to our house. I finished setting up my quilting work station and am super excited to get working on some new projects. At the moment I have three in the works since I have to wait for some supplies to come in to finish each of them. Spring is definitely treating our house well :).