seasons-in-german

Seasons and Weather in German: The Vocabulary, Culture and Climates You Need to Know

Each year, the seasons come and go, along with the holidays, events and memories associated with them.

While the passage of time can be bittersweet, it also means that there’s always something to celebrate.

Keep reading to learn the seasons in German, as well as seasonal German culture and how you can partake in the celebrations, too.

Let the festivities begin!

Contents

German Die Jahreszeit Season Vocabulary

der Frühling (Spring)

seasons in german

German Spring Weather

Temperatures in Germany in the spring favor that middle ground between not-quite-winter and not-warm-enough-to-be-summer. Expect the mercury to stay above freezing most of the time, though.

Anything higher than 70 degrees Fahrenheit/21 degrees Celsius is unusual. Speaking of which, German-speaking countries measure temperature in Celsius, so keep that in mind as you read weather reports.

As for appropriate clothing, you’ll likely want to wear a light jacket while out and about. Layers work, too.

German Spring Celebrations

One of the most popular springtime celebrations—and not just in Germany—is Mardi Gras. Known as Karneval in western Germany,  Fasching in Austria and eastern/southern parts of Germany and Fastnacht in select German states and Switzerland, Mardi Gras typically falls in February and lasts until early March.

Ostern or das Osterfest  (Easter) draws quite a crowd as well. While that celebration occurs in mid-April, Der Erste Mai or Tag der Arbeit (May Day/Labor Day) happens on May 1.

As is typical for the season, these celebrations focus on new beginnings, a fresh start and a positive outlook.

German Spring Vocabulary

GermanEnglish
Das Aufblühen Blossoming
Die Baumblüten Tree blossoms
Die blühenden Blumen Blooming flowers
Die Blumen The flowers
Die Frühlingsgefühle Spring fever
Die Frühlingsluft Spring air
Der Frühjahrsputz Spring cleaning
Das Frühlingsfest Spring festival
Das grüne Gras Green grass
Die Gartenarbeit Gardening
Die Regenschauer Rain showers
Das Picknick im Freien Outdoor picnic
Der Neuanfang New beginning
Die Schmetterlinge Butterflies
Der Sonnenschein Sunshine
Die Wärme Warmth
Das Vogelgezwitscher Birdsong

der Sommer (Summer)

seasons in german

German Summer Weather

Summer in Germany is generally warm and pleasant. Average temperatures range from 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) during the daytime.

You can expect a humid heat in the German summer. Rain still falls, even though the chilly breeze of spring has given way to warm summer nights.

Keep in mind that weather can vary, so it’s a good idea to pack both light clothing and a few layers, just in case!

German Summer Celebrations

Cities like Berlin, Munich and Hamburg come alive with outdoor events, street festivals and open-air markets in the summer.

Traditional music festivals, called die Musiktage , fill up June, July and August Das Bachfest  (the Bach Festival) is a popular event to attend in June.

Beer is the perfect summer drink, and the International Berlin Beer Festival lands smack dab in the middle of one of the hottest months of the year—August.

May through September is typically considered die Reisezeit (the travel season). Conditions are optimal for seeing the countryside, drinking beer, reveling in enormous tents and trekking over cobblestone roads in the heart of Germany.

German Summer Vocabulary

GermanEnglish
Das Bräunen Tanning
Die Eiscreme Ice cream
Die Ferien Holidays
Das Freibad Outdoor swimming pool
Das Grillen Barbecuing
Die Hitze< Heat
Die Meeresbrise Sea breeze
Das Meer Sea
Die Outdoor-Aktivitäten Outdoor activities
Das Reisen Traveling
Der Sand Sand
Das Schwimmen Swimming
Die Sommerkleidung Summer clothing
Die Sonnenbrille Sunglasses
Der Sonnenhut Sun hat
Die Sonne Sun
Der Sonnenschein Sunshine
Der Strand Beach
Das Strandtuch Beach towel
Der Urlaub Vacation
Die Wassersportarten Water sports

der Herbst (Fall)

seasons in german

German Fall Weather

Before indulging in the foamy mugs of this joyous occasion, take notes on traveling to Germany in the fall. As the opposite of spring, temperatures in fall drop down from balmy temperatures to colder weather.

Autumn in Germany brings cooler temperatures and the landscapes transform into a stunning array of red, orange and yellow hues as the leaves change color. Average temperatures range from 10 to 15 degrees Celsius (50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit), making it a comfortable season for exploring.

German Fall Celebrations

If they don’t make it to Germany in the summer, many people will pack their bags for one of the most well-known German celebrations in late fall.

You guessed it: Das Oktoberfest .

 Much more than a giant drinking celebration—though that’s what it’s mostly known for—Oktoberfest rejoices in all that is German. Or, more specifically, all things Bavarian (the large, southernmost region of Germany)—including traditional outfits ( die Lederhosen for the men and die Dirndl for the women) and the timeless desire to come together and enjoy each other’s company.

Like Oktoberfest, which runs through September into the first week of October, Das Stadtfest , or “the city festival,” happens in the month of September as well. Each city puts on its own set of festivities, including live music, street performers and more. It’s a way to showcase the residents of the city, highlighting their skills and accomplishments with pride.

Specific to Germany, Tag der Deutschen Einheit (German Unity Day), is extremely important as well. On October 3, 1990, East and West Germany reunited ( die Wiedervereinigung ), adding an important German holiday to this day. 

German Fall Vocabulary

GermanEnglish
Die Apfelernte Apple picking
Das Erntedankfest Harvest festival
Das Erntedankfest Thanksgiving
Die Blätter Leaves
Der Blätterhaufen Leaf pile
Das Drachensteigen Kite flying
Die Erntezeit Harvest time
Das Halloween Halloween
Der Herbstspaziergang Fall walk
Der Herbststurm Fall storm
Der heiße Kakao / die heiße Schokolade Hot chocolate
Die Jacke Jacket
Der Kastanien Chestnuts
Der Kürbis Pumpkin
Der Laternenumzug Lantern parade
Das Laub Foliage
Der Nebel Fog
Der Regen Rain
Die Stiefel Boots
Der Tee Tea
Das Pilzesammeln Mushroom hunting

der Winter (Winter)

seasons in german

German Winter Weather

When people think of Germany in the winter, they might think of skiing in the Alps. But even though there’s plenty of powder in die Alpen , German winters aren’t actually too bad.

Just as rain falls frequently in the summer, Germans plan for much snowfall in the winter. The humidity, though, keeps temperatures above 20 degrees Fahrenheit/-6 degrees Celsius. 

Since snow falls quite often in the winter months, Germans tend to spend more time indoors with family and friends. In fact, it’s a great time for parties and gatherings.

German Winter Celebrations

Germans celebrate Christmas on the same day many Americans do, but not always in the same fashion. Before Kris Kringle—or, der Weihnachtsmann  visits, Germans celebrate Nikolaustag (St. Nicholas Day) on December 6th. 

St. Nicholas isn’t Santa Claus, but he does leave treats in the shoes of young children—if they’ve been good. Like the advent calendars sold in many global markets, St. Nicholas is there to remind children to be on their best behavior.

And in the spirit of beginning again and ringing in the new year, Germans celebrate Silvester  (New Year’s Eve) on the last day of the year.

German Winter Vocabulary

GermanEnglish
Das Eis Ice
Das Eislaufen / Schlittschuhlaufen Ice skating
Der Glühwein Mulled wine
Die Geschenke The presents
Die Handschuhe The gloves
Die Kälte Cold
Der Kamin Fireplace
Der Schneemann Snowman
Die Schneeballschlacht Snowball fight
Der Schal Scarf
Der Schnee Snow
Das Skifahren Skiing
Das Snowboarden Snowboarding
Die Mütze Hat
Der Neujahrstag New Year's Day
Schlitten fahren gehen To go sledding
Die Schneeflocken Snowflakes
Das Weihnachten Christmas
Die Weihnachtsbeleuchtung Christmas lights
Der Weihnachtsmarkt Christmas market
Der Wintermantel The winter coat
Die Winterferien Winter holidays
Die Winterlandschaft Winter landscape
Der Winterschlaf Hibernation

German  Wetter (Weather) Vocabulary

As you saw from the previous sections, Germany has a diverse climate. Whether you’re conversing about the sunny summers or the picturesque autumn landscapes, mastering these German weather vocabulary will help you navigate weather discussions with ease.

Weather Conditions

GermanEnglish
Bewölkt Cloudy
Dunstig Hazy
Eiskalt Freezing cold
Die Eiskristalle Ice crystals
Feucht Humid
Die glühende Hitze Blazing heat
Das Glatteis Black ice
stürmisch Stormy
Die Graupel Sleet
Der Hagel Hail
Die Hagelschauer Hail showers
Heiter Fair
Klar Clear
Die Luftfeuchtigkeit Humidity
Mild Mild
Der mäßiger Regen Moderate rain
Nebelig Foggy
Der Niederschlag Precipitation
Der Nieselregen Drizzle
Die Polarluft Polar air
Der Regenbogen Rainbow
Regnerisch Rainy
Die Schauer Showers
Verschneit Snowy
Sonnig Sunny
Strahlend Radiant
Taufeucht Dewy
Trocken Dry
Die Tropenluft Tropical air
Die vereinzelten Gewitter Isolated thunderstorms
Der vereinzelte Schneefall Isolated snowfall
Eisig Icy
Windig Windy
Windstille Calm
Der Wolkenbruch Downpour

Temperature

GermanEnglish
Angenehm Pleasant
Bitterkalt Bitterly cold
Eiskalt Freezing cold
Frostig Frosty
Frisch Cool
Die frische Luft Fresh air
Frösteln Shivering
Gemäßigt Moderate
Der Grad Celsius Degree Celsius
Glühend Scorching
Die Hitzewelle Heatwave
Kalt Cold
Die kühle Brise Cool breeze
Kühl Chilly
Lauwarm Lukewarm
Mäßig warm Moderately warm
Die niedrigen Temperaturen Low temperatures
Die Polarkälte Polar cold
Raumtemperatur Room temperature
Das Schwitzen Sweating
Die schwüle Hitze Humid heat
Schweißtreibend Sweat-inducing
Der Temperaturabfall Temperature drop
Der Temperaturanstieg Temperature rise
Das Thermometer Thermometer
Die Minustemperaturen Freezing temperatures
Tropisch Tropical
Wohltuend Refreshing
Warm Warm

Weather Verbs

GermanEnglish
Abkühlen To cool down
Abtrocknen To dry off
Aufheizen To heat up
Aufklaren To clear up
Sich Auflockern To become less cloudy
Sich bewölken To become cloudy
Blitzen To lightning
Donnern To thunder
Eintrüben To become overcast
Fluten To flood
Gefrieren To freeze
Glänzen To shine
Hageln To hail
Nieseln To drizzle
Regnen To rain
Schmelzen To melt
Schneien To snow
Schütten To pour
Stürmen To storm
Tauen To thaw
Tröpfeln To drizzle
Verdunkeln To darken
Vorhersagen To forecast

How to Talk About the Weather in German

Small talk about the weather is a common and culturally accepted topic of conversation in Germany, much like in many other parts of the world. It serves as an icebreaker and a way to initiate conversations, especially in social settings or when interacting with acquaintances.

You can use these phrases to talk about the weather in German:

If you want to discover even more ways to talk about the weather in German, I recommend using authentic resources. For instance, you could listen to actual German speakers talk about the weather in your neighborhood. Or, if you don’t have that opportunity to hear live German, an immersion program like FluentU offers chances to hear real German from the comfort of your home. 

Common German Expressions About Weather and Seasons

The popular weather and seasonal expressions below are a great way to add a touch of nature’s beauty to your conversations… while practicing your German weather and season vocabulary!

 

No matter where you live or what season it currently is, you can always celebrate your environment—and now you know more about how Germans do that, too!

And One More Thing...

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