I’ll start this blog off by briefly describing what Schützenfest exactly is. Quite simply, it’s a marksman’s festival.
Each year there is a celebration where people gather to witness people compete based on their shooting skills. The winner of the competition in most cases, is the marksman who is able to shoot and hit the wooden eagle. He is then crowned the Schützenkonig and remains so until the next year.
When I went to this Schützenfest with Sven, Dan, and Julio, we did not see any of the actual shooting. Instead we witnessed the parade, fair, and after party. The whole celebration was stunning and wouldn’t be likened to anything in the US. After the parade, we all made our way to the tent where people drink and converse throughout the day. Apparently, the celebration lasts until the next morning and is then followed by a large breakfast. I’m starting to get the idea that most German holidays revolve around food and drinking, but I suppose they do everywhere. The difference is that the Germans can hold their alcohol.
As far as my group, we had 3 or 4 beers over a couple of hours and then biked to another beer garden where they had Weiss Beer. As far as Weiss Beer goes, I had my first and may have had my last. It was a very heavy drink and almost felt like it shouldn’t be a fluid. I suppose only real men drink Weiss Beer, I also suppose I’m not a real man yet…
All in all, I’m glad that we trekked our way to the festival and would be sure to go again. Luckily enough for me, Schützenfest takes place in different towns on different dates. The Schützenfest that most people know of takes place in Hannover and holds the fame for having the largest parade and largest portable ferris wheel in the world. Sadly, this festival takes place in September, so I will no longer be within Germany.
I’m beginning to feel cultured and am enjoying learning about the traditions and heritage of Germany!