Autumn Fest in Oberursel

The annual Autumn Fest is being held in Oberursel this weekend. While this is in its 17th year of running, we are in our 18th year of residing here. So much for the two years we had initially planned on being here…

Yesterday evening, my husband and went out for our not-so-often weekly Friday night date. Last Friday, we couldn’t as he sat in the ICE to Paris and the Friday before, he was sitting on a bus returning from a school trip to Austria.

On our way to our Stammkneipe (regular pub) “Zum Adler”, we happened to cross paths with the Herbsttreiben Fest in Oberursel. A good Bratwurst smell was coming our way and so we made a little detour to find that a real fest was going on.

Here are some photos of how Germans can celebrate in all kinds of temperatures – yesterday, it was 8°C – 14°C only, but feasible with a bit of alcohol, good company and the right clothing.

At first glance, I thought we were hitting the Christmas market in September.

Herbsttreiben in Oberursel 2012

The Thuringia vendor, where the Bratwurst smell came from, also sold roast suckling pig. But after seeing the pig on display, I decided not to order it.

This must be something for the hard-core meat lovers.

Roast Suckling Pig

Instead, I went for the Kohlroulade mit Bratkartoffeln (stuffed cabbage with fried potatoes for€ 5,50) and I honestly expected a 10 cm (or four-inch) long Kohlroulade stuffed with seasoned mince meat.

But what I got was a double in length and quadruple in size. My, oh my, these Thuringians (former East Germany) are very generous with their helpings. The Kohlroulade was almost as big as our pork roast on Sundays.


Next we passed the 2012 Ebbelwoi (apple wine) tasting area. It was crowded with young people, working their way around the St. Ursula Brunnen (fountain), tasting the many new wines. They seemed to have a lot of fun doing this.

Now, in regards to the charge for the apple wine testing, the proceeds are going to the Kinderkrebshilfe (children’s cancer support group) which is a noble thing to do.

Regarding the advertisement though, calling this a Vertestigung, someone was either trying really hard to be playful with words or just had had too many already. This is not a German word and probably never will be.

Trinken für einen guten Zweck  (Drink for a good cause) – you’ve got to like this one.


Just before night was settling in, I was able to take this photo. The drink-for-a-good-cause folks were still making their rounds around the fountain, while testing, talking, and occasionally dumping what they didn’t like.

Apple wine tasting in Oberursel

It got a bit fresh by this point, so we headed to our Stammkneipe for a sundowner anyway.

For more information about the fest (14 – 16 September 2012), visit AllThingsGerman.

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.

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Decorating Ideas for any German Fest

German fests traditionally use little lights, flowers, and local flags for decoration.

But this Ebbelwoi Fest in downtown Oberursel added a special touch by stringing dish towels and old-fashioned apron dresses across the ceiling. It was definitely an eye-catcher.


Ebbelwoi-Strausswirtschaft & Kelterei, Oberursel

We enjoyed our Friday evening there. Food, drinks, and service was very good (I had beer, though). The only downside was – no ventilation on such a hot summer day.

More at Ebbelwoi Straußwirtschaft & Kelterei in Oberursel.

Father’s Day in Germany

The German public holiday Christi Himmelfahrt (Ascension Day) is celebrated on the 40th day after Easter Monday.

This has been a holiday since 1936, although it was not celebrated in the GDR between 1967 and 1989.

The same day is also known as Vatertag (Father’s Day) and many clubs and organizations hold their annual parties, mostly for drinking. This is a day when some fathers, do not spend any time with their families, but with other men (drinking buddies) instead.

We went to the Schützenhof again as we do every year. The fest itself seems to get smaller and so does the menu selection – they only had steaks and Bratwurst available, but it was good as always.

Bollerwagen on Father's Day in Germany

This year, we only saw guys with a Bollerwagen, a hand-drawn cart for drinking supplies. Wonder what happened to the guys coming up on tractors and wagons on Father’s Day, such as in previous years.

Austerity measures?

Hessentag in Oberursel

Yesterday evening, a friend called me, persuading me to join her on a visit to the Hessentag fest.

Hessentag in Oberursel 2011

Well, what was supposed to be one hour at a quiet corner of the Hessentag activities, turned into a beach party with blaring music within 10 minutes after our arrival. I had just gotten myself comfortable in a lounge chair when the loudspeakers came on behind us and a young woman started to accompany some party songs with her saxophone.

She played really well,  and I closed my eyes and dozed off, nevertheless.

Oberursel Hessentag

Then I was dragged on for a little tour of the Hessentag activities, but after a while they all looked the same. Loud music, young people, happy faces, food and drink galore.

Unfortunately,  the U-Bahn does not have its train departure announcements set right. Trains are supposed to run in 15-minute intervals, but the message read: Next train – in 49 minutes. I was not willing to wait, so we actually walked home.

We could have called a cab – as a matter of fact, there were quite a few on the road that night – but the night temperature felt good and I have always enjoyed walking. I still would rather walk 40 minutes than wait 49 minutes.

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