If you are a professional musician in Germany, you get a break! That’s right, not just teachers get a summer vacation. Theatres are generally closed for six weeks during the summer months. Now, sometimes there are special performances held outside or at markets, but for the most part, theatres take a hiatus and will rent out the theatres for other events. If you don’t want to take an extended vacation, and if you are one of the lucky ones, you could fly to another country to sing, or you could take part in master classes and music festivals in Germany.
If you are a true German, you probably spend summer evenings in one of the several beer gardens or cafes. Germany is famous for its beer gardens and for its beer! We are not just talking budweiser, we are talking amazing local beer brands you have never heard of. For all of you who like the sweeter and lighter side of alcohol, Germany is famous for its Shandy drinks. A Shandy is a beer mixed with a soft drink. Sometimes these drinks are mixed with apple or orange juice instead. Especially popular is a drink called a Radler - beer mixed with carbonated lemonade. YUM! If you are the designated driver, you can still enjoy a good drink with the ever popular Spezial or Spezi. It’s a magical mixture of 50% orange soda and 50% cola.
Incidentally, you can’t talk about German beer without talking about German food. A few favorite go-to’s in the summer season are cake with fresh strawberries, fresh peaches from local gardens, and of course ice cream for that hot weather. To accompany your ice cream, you’ll definitely want to try a distinct German plum variety called the Zwetschge. Or you could top it with a berry compote called Rote Grütze. For your main dishes, just like in America, barbecue is an extremely popular summertime cuisine. Bratwurst for everyone!
When you think of Germany, your first thought might go to music (or beer if you’re being honest.) However, Germans love to spend time at the beach! There are NUDE beaches, too. Unlike America, nudity isn’t taboo in Germany. It all started in the early 20th century when it was believed that fitness, sun, and fresh air contributed to a healthy mind and body. (Hey, I’d still agree with that!) Germans celebrate what’s called Freikörperkultur (FKK), or free body culture. In fact, the Association for Free Body Culture was founded in 1949 and today it is part of the German Olympic Sport Federation and is the largest member of the International Naturist Federation. Who knew! Consequently, Germans aren’t afraid to bare all at the beach or swimming pool at FKK areas. In the German culture, being nude doesn’t translate to being sexual. A body is a body and everyone has one.
And if lounging in the nude isn’t your style, other outside activities are highly popular. You can find many Germans swimming in lakes, hiking, camping, picnic-ing in the park, and playing volleyball at a man-made city-beach. Also, make sure you don’t forget to visit one of the many music festivals.
All things considered, summers in Germany are fairly similar to summers in America… well, except for the nudity. Really though, it doesn’t get much better than lounging in the nude on the beach with beer and fresh fruit when you’re on a summer vacation! Be right back, booking my plane tickets… If you’re travelling to Germany this summer, or if you are a homesick German, please share our article with your friends. Thank you for reading and happy travels!
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Hello, I am Christine, the director of GVAI, a passionate singer, German diction, voice and performance coach. I love music, singing and dancing. Life is an exciting journey and I invite you to walk with me....
GVAI's Summer Opera Program 2018 will be the Magic Flute again. Details will be announced in the near future. Enjoy pictures of the last program here.