Der Berg ruft!

On Thursday, the day had finally come: The beginning of this year’s Bergkirchweih! That’s quite a big beer festival in my hometown. Every year, thousands of people come to Erlangen just for this occasion. Needless to say that locals are just as crazy about it as tourists.

Traditionally, on the starting day, the Anstich, people meet early, at around noon or early afternoon, at a location a few kilometres away from the actual festival area in order to walk there together and, naturally, drink as much beer as possible while doing so.

Hence, I got myself ready- wearing a (not so) traditional Dirndl– the famous Bavarian dress that originally served as work outfit for female farm workers. Nowadays, it is more used as a way of dressing up, and pretty much everybody owns one. berg2017 113berg2017 117berg2017 130berg2017 131Fun Fact- if you tie the apron on the right hand side, this means that you are in a relationship, left hand side means that you’re single. berg2017 129berg 108The walk to the festival area is called Kastenlauf for obvious reasons: People usually carry entire crates (Kasten, in German) with them to ensure that they never get thirsty. Funny creations are to be admired everywhere, because people are too lazy to actually carry them with muscle strength only 😀 berg 166Aaaand, this is what the festival area looks like: It is a rather beautiful place on a hill (hence Bergkirchweih- Berg means Mountain in German) hidden underneath many old trees. Note that during night time, the streets are A LOT more crowded- I just didn’t want to take my DSLR camera there at night, when everybody’s drunk and doesn’t pay attention where they’re walking. berg2017 276There are many traditional beer gardens along the way. What is mainly used for eating and drinking during the day is transformed  into a sort of partying place with live music, where people are dancing on the tables. berg2017 288Naturally, there are countless stalls selling all sorts of savoury foods:berg2017 200berg2017 237berg2017 207berg2017 291berg2017 295berg2017 222Of course, sweet treats are omnipresent, too!berg2017 242berg2017 243berg2017 245berg2017 255The stalls are carefully designed. Sometimes, the style is… interesting…berg2017 241… and sometimes, it is really cute with a great eye for the small details!berg2017 233berg2017 260Fun games can be played everywhere. berg2017 267berg2017 227… but sometimes, they just look terrible (to say the least). berg2017 266berg2017 246AAAAAnd, of course, the famous gingerbread hearts are sold everywhere! berg2017 251berg2017 240berg2017 194But most importantly: There’s beer! berg2017 161There are many different breweries, selling their creations for around 9€ per litre in the traditional caves, where the beer used to be stored in the past. berg2017 205berg2017 272berg2017 214Here some more impressions from the beer gardens. berg2017 286berg2017 277As you can see, “traditional” outfits are quite popular. Some are less traditional though, like the waitress below. berg2017 289Others are pretty much accurate. berg2017 293However, the guys below represent the average style:berg2017 304berg2017 307berg2017 308Throughout the entire city, one encounters dressed-up people walking towards the festival area during those 2 weeks. Basically, the whole town goes crazy, and the festival is called the fifth season 😀berg2017 315It’s even beneficial for  the poor among us (well, at least a little bit): they collect all the empty bottles and receive the refund for it. berg2017 312

Nonetheless, there are quite a lot of accidents and emergencies happening during this time of the year, mainly because it’s too crowded and people cannot handle their drinking. However, I really enjoy it (can I say anything different as a proper local?) and I hope you got a good impression from these pictures!

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