I don't know if this is a country-wide or just a local phenomenon, but there's a bit of a craze for stay-up-late events in Heidelberg - and I'm not talking about dance marathons for charity. Several months ago, there was the "Long Night of Museums", when local museums kept their exhibits open super-late. A week and a half ago we got the "Long Night of Shopping", during which stores stayed open on a Saturday until midnight. And this past weekend, there was even a super-nerdy "Nacht der Wissenschaft!" This translates sort of to "night of science", though the definition of Wissenschaft is a little more broad than the English definition of science - it encompasses philology and philosophy, for instance, which most people in the probably would not consider science. (The literal translation of Wissenschaft is something like "the business of knowledge", which is freaking cool.) The night included lectures, tours, and other geeky stuff until 2am on Saturday.
Die Nacht der Wissenschaft was hyped a lot at my work since I am in research, and one of my coworker friends even gave a lecture. (In a showing of brilliant German openness, he informed me that he was nervous about it by saying, "I get diarrhea every time I think about it!") I thought about going to find out more about who and how many people go to these things - mostly uni students prodded by professors? People from the general public? Do they fall asleep or show up drunk or...? Also, I wanted to support my friend. Or laugh at him. In a friendly way, of course. However, I was feeling a bit under the weather Saturday in more ways than one - I was both sick and the actual weather outside was incredibly miserable - so I didn't make it. Maybe if it had been free I would have made it, but there was a hefty fee that didn't seem it would be worth it unless I attended multiple events. If anyone went, tell me how it was!