Funny Franconian Hats and German Culture

This video clip shows the annual country fair (German style) in a small village in Lower Franconia. Traditionally, the two neighboring protestant villages of Sennfeld and Gochsheim have a proud display of local costumes.

This one is from Gochsheim, a village just about 12 km from my catholic hometown village of Hambach. After all these years of living somewhere else, I get to see the much talked about celebration on YouTube.

I enjoyed listening to the brass brand, but what got most of my interest are the unusual hats the guys are wearing. Those guys come into the clip at about 1:30.

The participants are wearing the Volkstracht (national costume; national representing Franconia in this case) and the significance of the hats is: rigid top hat with many colored bands, a.k.a. love bands or rosemary sticks, representing fertility and loyalty.

A bit more about their costumes in German at the Gochsheimer Plantracht.

[youtube XppnLd-9bMc&feature=player_embedded]

A Shepherd tending his Flock

Yesterday afternoon, while driving around the Schweinfurt area in Lower Franconia, we happened to see a flock of sheep grazing on the roadside.

Sheep on a German hillside

This is a rare sight, even in the country side such as Northern Bavaria. We pulled up, so I could take a few pictures against the dark skies.

Shepherd with dog

Beautiful moment. Peace on Earth. Lonely traveller. Loyal friend.

Happy New Year!


Thanksgiving Fest in Germany

Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving Day) in Germany is celebrated on the first Sunday in October,

The village of Sennfeld (near Schweinfurt) has its own tradition of celebrating this special day with a parade, dancing, eating, and drinking.

Minimum age is three for enrolling in the public dance performance

Thanksgiving - traditional dances

Dancing around the tree - fertility symbol

Traditions of songs and dance

Another dance, another outfit

My three-year-old grandniece will join the junior dancers next year.

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.

– William Somerset Maugham –

German Thanksgiving Parade

In Germany, Erntedankfest (Thanksgiving) is celebrated on the first Sunday in October. It is only a religious holiday and while growing up in a catholic village, it meant going to church, just like every Sunday.

Besides being a regular Sunday in church, on Erntedankfest though, the church gets decorated with the year’s harvest of vegetables.

Protestants however, celebrate Thanksgiving in style. The neighboring villages of Sennfeld and Gochsheim (near Schweinfurt) are both mainly protestant. Both have a Erntedanksfest Umzug (Thanksgiving Parade) with a big fest afterwards. The most popular food items on the list are Zwiebelsplootz and Federweißer.

Zwiefelsplootz and Federweisser

Here are some pictures taken in Sennfeld (Lower Franconia) on their Thanksgiving Day parade.

Thanksgiving Parade, German style

Men in feathered hats

Some little German helpers

Advert for renewable energy

Thanksgiving Parade participants

Thanksgiving Parade

bountiful harvest

It was a rather short parade, but worth attending. Sadly enough, the number of participants keeps shrinking as interest in traditions is slowly fading.

Country Hotels in Germany

The magazine Geo Saison, in its current October 2011 issue, ran an article featuring their choice of the 18 best country hotels in Germany.

These country hotels are spread out all over the Germany, reaching from the North Sea down to the Alps. One of them is located in the heart of Germany, namely Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim in Northern Bavaria.

On of our visits to my hometown in Northern Bavaria, we had an overnight at Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Quoting an excerpt from the Geo Saison article, written by Hannah Glaser:

Den jungen, gutgelaunten Hausherrn von Schloss Zeilitzheim treffen wir im Garten, auf den Knien beim Löwenzahn stechen (We found the young and good-humored castle owner in the garden, on his knees pulling weeds).

This, among other daily routines, contributes to a familiar atmosphere when staying at the hotel.

Country Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim

Hotel Schloss Zeilitzheim ranked 7th on the Geo-Saison list (full list available on Presse-Portal).

For more information, visit Zeilitzheim Castle Hotel in Bavaria, Germany.


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