May is known in Germany as the month with a lot of public holidays. But the difference here, as opposed to Canada, is when a public holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, that is the day it is celebrated. So, no Friday before or Monday after in lieu of.
The 1st of May is May Day, a national holiday that celebrates spring. When we lived in Aachen, we saw maypoles (trees decorated with colourful streamers) adorning many homes, which apparently is a tradition of showing love interest to a lady. On this day, many people come together with friends and family to celebrate with food and good cheer, This year, May Day fell on a Sunday so no extra day of holiday during the week. Boo hoo.
Next up is Ascension Day, which falls 39 days after Easter Sunday, so this year it fell on May 5th. Always a holiday on a Thursday, this day marks Jesus’ ascension to heaven. It is also Father’s Day, where the good fathers here in Germany load a wagon full of beer and walk, and later stagger arm-in-arm around the neighbourhood with other father buddies. However, this tradition now seems to be celebrated by boys who are very likely not fathers, and this year I saw a group of young ladies dressed to the nines, dancing down the street with their loaded wagon. Atta girls. We celebrated Father’s Day doing what daddy loves: hitting golf balls and enjoying a beer on the patio.
Even though the Friday after Ascension Day is not a public holiday, the majority of people take it off anyway to make it an extra-long week-end. The added blissful bonus this year, was the weather forecast was guaranteed 100% sunshine and temperatures averaging 23 degrees for each of the 4 days. Truly a gift from the weather god.
So what is one to do with an extra-long week-end and non-stop sunshine? Visit the local garden center and garden! Well, that’s what we did, anyway. What a treat it is, the first visit to a garden center after winter, seeing all the colourful flowers and fresh herbs in bloom. After years of frustration trying to prevent snails and slugs from munching away on our plants and downright devouring them, we decided this year to just plant what has proven to thrive the evil crawlers, and decorate our garden with more ornamental things that can’t be eaten. And no, there won’t be any garden gnomes in our backyard.
With all the nice weather, we also took advantage of outdoor grilling: chicken legs and green asparagus over coals after an evening fire, lamb burgers on the BBQ, and a prime rib with green asparagus on the smoker. Yes, it is Spargelzeit (asparagus time) here in Germany where all the local green and white stems are enjoyed now until the third week in June. Asparagus here is not available year-round, so the Germans really celebrate the season of the local harvest.
Next up in the national holiday month of May is Whit Monday, held this year on May 16th. This is another Christian holiday that observes the Second Day of Pentecost commemorating the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the disciples of Jesus Christ. So another long week-end to look forward to! Then on May 26 comes Corpus Christi which falls on a Thursday 60 days after Easter Sunday. The day honors the Eucharist (Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper), which is important in the Catholic Church. But, this holiday is only recognized in the Southern provinces of Germany which are traditionally more Catholic, so no public holiday here. In fact, the South has a lot more public holidays with Catholic celebrations. Hmmm….a good reason to move?
Today is the last of our extra-long week-end and with the sun in full blaze and the gardening done, it’s a perfect day to hit the beach. With Mr. Mogly now in the family, our beach days will now be enjoyed on doggy beaches where they are allowed to roam freely and sniff away at private areas of strangers, as dogs do.
And as I fall asleep, hopefully full of vitamin D and white asparagus, I will look forward to another long week-end. Just a week away.
Prost! Happy Father’s Day
I always wanted a memento of my grandmother in the garden. This ornament is solar charged and illuminates after dusk in different colours.
This glass ball was given to me years ago by a special friend. It previously hung in our china cabinet, but I thought this was a much better spot for it during the outdoor seasons.
These new garden torches light up our lives (and nights).
Hubby’s ‘perfect’ prime rib. And of course, green asparagus. Yummmmm.
2 thoughts on “The long week-ends of May”
Today is Mothers Day here and it is a little overcast now but there was lots of sun earlier. So, Happy Mothers Day Heather and Happy a Fathers Day to hubby. 💕
Thanks Susanne! And a belated happy Mother’s Day to you as well!