germanculture Newsletter

German Culture

October 23 2012 German Culture Newsletter

It is another seasonal article this week, a tradition which has been carried out in the mountainous areas of Germany, Austria and Switzerland for generations.


Mountain cattle drives, or the "Almabtrieb", have had a place in Bavarian farming life for centuries, and in many villages the last golden days of summer and early autumn see processions of decorated cows creating cow bell symphonies as they return to the valleys from their alpine pastures.

And this weeks word is ALTWEIBERSOMMER, the weather that people hope will be in place for the Almabtreib every year.

Those warm September days between summer and autumn that in English are known as an Indian summer.

It could be translated as "old hag summer," but "weiber" is more probably derived from "weben", to weave, or "Spinnweben", the web-spinning spiders that are often to be seen in greater quantities just before winter appears. has lots more to read and discover, as well as a forum:

So if there is anything you would like to see or if you have any questions or comments then please feel free to get in touch, either in the forum or via email.

Francine McKenna-Klein,
German Culture Editor

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