Monday, June 15, 2015

Special Occasions

Spring herolds many festivals and religious events in this part of Germany.  In our particular area, from just after Easter until late fall, they begin one after the other in one town or another every weekend.  No matter where the fest or special occasion takes place, all will be busy.

We went to two in the past couple of weeks, both very different from each other.  The first was in Biederbach-Kirchhöf.  Fronleichnam or Corpus Christi, a religious holiday, began with a church service and then a procession.

The band members are waiting for the procession to begin.
The various areas of southwestern Germany have their own particular Trachten or traditional dress as is the case in Biederbach.

We didn't attend the service, so before it ended, we followed the flower petals that had been placed by the residents of the town along the street behind the church.  Altars were placed at intervals.  The petals were in various patterns and designs and were spectacular.  Such a lot of work and all laid just that Sunday morning.

The 1st Communion young people stepping gingerly on the flower petals as they follow in the procession.

All in the procession were not young as this lady in traditional dress and hair braided is well into her 80s.



The flower tradition began in 1956. This was its 60th anniversary, thus a special year and occasion.

Below, a few of the flower arrangements along the street.  These were all artistically created by individual families in the town.

When the ceremony and procession ended we, along with many of the band members, went into the Deutscher Hof, where we go on many a Monday afternoon to meet with a group of friends.  We have been going to this Gasthaus for about 25 years.  (The many baskets of flower petals had been stored in the Gasthaus' large garage overnight.)

The Gasthaus Deutscher Hof
Many of the band members also came into the Gasthaus for a drink and to relax before heading home for Mittagessen, noon dinner.

Some of the band members and families inside the Gasthaus.  The Wirt, Herr Moser, is behind the bar busily pouring drinks.

A week later (the weekend of 6/7 June), we attended the annual spring Kirchbergfest in Münchweier.  People come from all over to enjoy this special weekend which is held over two days. All erected pavilions, booths and stands began beside the Gasthaus Rebstock and wound up the hill past the church to the very top. 

The day began around 10 a.m. with the horses being washed before then galloping through the Bach (or brook).  We didn't attend this time, but I did last year.  Here are a few pictures.


When we arrived at the fest, we just headed up the hill past the Rebstock to an outdoor/indoor facility to join our 90-year old friend, Adolf, for lunch.  We sat outside.  The sun was hot, but fortunately we did have shade.  We got there early enough for a table, but many came later and had to either go inside or sit in the sun. 

Hans (L) and Adolf (R)
The food is always simple home made fare but always good with such things as Schnitzel, Wurstsalat, Haxen and so on.  All was served by friendly waitresses who volunteer their time.  In fact, everyone working there is a volunteer, as is the case with nearly all fests. 

Hans and Adolf heading down the street after our meal.

A sign advertising 11 shots of Schnaps or liqueurs for Euro 15. (about CAD 18.00) You pay E. 10 for the shot glasses and serving board but get that back when they are returned.

The very young also enjoy a fest.  This is one of the drink stands found along the way. The litle guy is a bit too young for Schnaps!

Always a place to stop, rest, drink or eat 

Later, we wandered down the hill through the main part of the festival and listened to the band.  Every member was playing an accordion:  men, women and teens (male and female).  Outstanding and wonderful music.

Along the way we ran into people we knew as one always does at a fest.  One of those was Hans, the former German cook at the Canadian Forces hospital (CFHE).  We had a long talk with him.  He still lives in the area.  I didn't think to get a picture at that moment.  I still remember his great food, such as a turkey dinner, for example.  I always had it when it was on the hospital kitchen menu.  

Later, Adolf took us on a small tour, but still part of the fest area, stopping for about 45 minutes at a former farm, whose barn is now almost a museum.  The farmer stopped farming and, instead, things he had collected or family relics from the past he placed inside.


For the fest, it was filled also with tables and benches.  We had a cold drink and took in the gemütlich and rustic interior.

A good time was had by all!


We continued down the street and came to another old house and barn.


Adolf also led us down a path we had never been on, past an old house, now empty, but with a bench outside to sit on.  This was heading away from the fest and was a peaceful and beautiful spot.


A typical Schwarzwald babbling brook
Down the path we continued, which brought us close to where we had parked our car, past a wonderful private garden behind a house we have driven by many times but had never been along that particular pathway.

By then, we were hot and tired, but it had been a great Sunday.  Our car was parked close by and only a kilometer from home.  Below:  Hans is climbing into ours after a lovely day.  Crosses with Crucifix (praying stations for the farmers of old) are found everywhere in the countryside and in the towns, not only throughout Baden-Württemberg. 


I was happy that the fest took place before I was to leave for Nova Scotia for a few weeks.  That is coming up shortly. 

Enjoy a wonderful summer wherever you live with family and friends, good food, some beer and wine and, of course, great weather.