Thursday, May 3, 2012

Celebrating Spring in Stuttgart

Everyone in the world knows about Oktoberfest-- the big festival in the Fall which has been going on for hundreds of years in Munich. Did you know it started as a celebration for the wedding of Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese? Well... every year something similar happens in Stuttgart, a city in the adjoining state of Baden-Wuttemberg, not only in the fall but in the Spring as well...aptly named Frühlingsfest (Spring Festival)

http://www.stuttgarter-fruehlingsfest.de/

Dirndl's in Action
So, if you want to be authentic, one needs proper trachten (costumes) to have for Fest. This is dirndl's for the ladies and lederhosen (literally meaning leather pants) for the guys. There are of course the cheaper halloween ones but in Germany there are stores especially for them-- ranging from reasonable to downright expensive!

Walking into Fest is like walking into an amusement park-- there are plenty of sights, smells, and sounds catering to young and old. There are rides ranging from the calm and serene to the white knuckle roller coasters. Never trusting the games (and my German being a bit bad) myself I am sure they are like any games you find in an amusement park. And the food! You have your typical plump sausages (wurst), dried fish, fries (pommes), pretzels (brezeln), and of course for the sweet tooth, plenty of candies and chocolates!

One of the many tents in Stuttgart's Fruhlingsfest
However, the real excitement is walking into the Fest Zelts (tents). The slightly stale smell of beer stained into the wood, mixed with the salivating aroma of the hendl (chicken) turning on the spit. This... is fest!

It starts with one maß (liter) of beer. Thats when you dig into the chicken. The slight buzz pairs nicely with the salty chicken skin and moist meat. The Prosit (cheers) song starts and everyone sings along and raises their glass. Be sure to look at everyone while you cheers-- it bad luck otherwise!

The evening continues-- more maß's are imbibed, more songs are sung, and before you realize you are up on the wooden table seats (not the table itself, thats a no no!) dancing and swaying to the music. You look around, everyone is up with you... everyone is laughing and singing along. Fest is definitely one of those experiences when is does not matter if the person next to you speaks a different language. All you need to do is raise your glass to theirs and shout "Prost!"

1 comment:

  1. I haven't heard of this spring festival before but it looks like they just wanted to celebrate Oktoberfest but in spring :)

    Regards,
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