Brunnenfest in Oberursel, 2018

Oberursel’s Brunnenfest (Fountain Festival) runs from Friday, 25 May until Monday, 28 May (with fireworks at 10pm).

The city is often referred to as the Brunnenstadt (Brunnen: fountain, spring, well), because it is home to more than 60 fountains, springs, and wells.

AllThingsGerman has more details in English, such as information about road closures, where driving restrictions will apply in the town center, where there will be ‘no-parking’ in some parts of the town, and which roads will be closed temporarily for the run on Sunday morning.

Fasching Parade and Taunus Karneval 2018 in Oberursel

If you are a newcomer to Germany and/or the city of Oberursel, you might be interested in watching this cultural (and pagan) event downtown Oberursel on 11 February 2018.

Fasching (also known as Fastnacht or Karnival) begins on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11:11 a.m. every year. The real festivities begin the day after Epiphany (6th January), when Fasching enthusiasts gather at local parties held throughout various public halls in the city.

The high-light happens on Fasching Sunday, this year being on the 11 February, when around 120 splendidly decorated cars and wagons pass through the city. The tour starts at 14:11 at the Rahmtor (old city gate at the market square), and runs for about two hours. Watch out for road blocks, and detours. Most people walk there or take public transportation.

People line the streets to return the Helau* greeting from the cars, and children are eager to catch the candy thrown from the cars. Adults might have a Schnaps (German hard liquor), while standing there. Children usually bring bags to carry their candy home. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella – even on a sunny day. The umbrella, held upside down, will not only protect your head from getting hit hard by the candy, but it also serves as a convenient candy catcher.

From the archives: Fasching Parade in Steinbach, Germany

Finding a parking spot will be difficult that Sunday afternoon. Also, the local pubs and restaurants will be packed with customers starting around 4pm.

So, you should either dress up, and join the lively activities, or stay away from downtown Oberursel.

Thousands of people from neighboring towns, including Frankfurt, come to watch this spectacle.

If you are going to watch the parade, remember to bring your:

  • smart phone or camera
  • one umbrella per adult (to shield from the rain or flying candy, or both)
  • bags to carry home the candy
  • Schnaps (in a medium-sized bottle), in case the weather is nasty. To make friends, make sure to share it with the others. Bring some shot glasses. Great conversation starter.

More about this sponsored event in photos, etc.: Taunus Karneval

* Helau stands for ‘Hello!’, ‘Hurrah!’ or simply put: ‘I’m having fun!’

You can go there dressed up or in plain clothes. Enjoy the parade.

Happy New Year Greeting from Germany

We do not say Happy New Year! before the actual new year has started. Instead, we say:
– Einen guten Beschluss! (Happy ‘Closure’)
– Einen guten Rutsch! (Happy ‘Sliding’)
Right after midnight, we say ‘Prost Neujahr!’ (Cheers to the New Year!)
The following days, we wish ‘Alles Gute im neuen Jahr!’ (Happy New Year!)

In case, you’re wondering about all these chimney sweeps you see on display in German supermarkets. These inexpensive trinkets we buy as a thank-you present for our neighbors, colleagues, friends, and family. This one contains most of the good-luck charms: chimney sweep, four-leave clover, ladybug, and toadstool (this one is missing a piglet).

Maria’s Beer Balcony in Germany

We had a spontaneous visit by two very dear friends to watch the soccer match Germany-Italy together at our home. Before the match started at 9pm, I got Peter to sit with me on the beer balcony.

Peter S on the beer balcony

Peter S., originally from a few places in the USA, now a German citizen

My, oh my, what an exciting soccer match this was! Italy and Germany both have very good teams. But in the end, it was down to nerve-wracking penalty shootouts. Italy played a strong game against Germany, the current world champions, but we finally lifted the spell and beat Italy for the first time in history.

Score: Germany – Italy 1:1 (1:1, 0:0) n.V., 6:5 i.E.

 n.V. = nach Verlängerung (overtime)

i.E. = im Elfmeterschießen (penalty shootouts)

Pigtown, Germany

We spent the past weekend in my hometown of Hambach, a village near the city of Schweinfurt in northern Bavaria. We sometimes refer to Schweinfurt as pig town, but its literal translation is pig crossing.

As soon as we get off the Autobahn and drive into the countryside, there are rolling hills, vineyards, and wheat fields.

Franken

Having grown up on a farm, I have a special appreciation for combines (German: Mähdrescher) in August. I do remember the dust and the dry heat (unlike nowadays), and the itchiness from the chaff and straw. August was also the month my dad knew whether his farming work had paid off for the year or not.

Mähdrescher

Mainberg Castle (Mainberg being another village outside of Pigtown) has been in the news recently. The castle is in bad condition and the owner lacks the funds for a complete restoration. If approved, the public gets to finance this hefty charge.

Mainberg Castle

Mainberg Castle

I like going to Pigtown, but I have stopped calling it going home many years ago. Both the area and I have changed over the thirty-some years.

The German word Heimat translates to hometown, whereas Zuhause is your current home. Meine alte Heimat ist Schweinfurt, mein Zuhause ist Oberursel.

 

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