Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Frühlingsfest...Ein Prosit, ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit, Ein Prosit, ein Prosit Der Gemütlichkeit!

Happy hump day!

 So as I mentioned in my last post, I spent my Saturday indulging in some real Bavarian culture at the popular Fruhlingsfest. It is the little sister of Oktoberfest and to be honest a much more manageable take on any kind of Bier festival for little old me. I'm not a huge beer drinker but looking über feminine, I manned up and took on the challenge! - I am such a martyr!

 Now the Dirndl is undoubtedly a very feminine and flattering costume for us ladies. I spent much of the day feeling like one of Walt Disney’s creations, admittedly a modern day account, oh hello tattoos! However  getting into this cute little ensemble was no fairy tale! After recruiting the help of Rebecca and several safety pins later we managed to squeeze my brezel loving bod into it. Feeling less than positive about myself after such a heave, we headed out to take some snaps. Since moving out here 18 months ago I have had an on/ off love affair with their unassuming brezels (pretzels); how can a twisted piece of bread covered in far too much salt taste SO good?! Anyway being such a pinnacle part of my Bavarian life and a contributing reason to us arriving an hour late to the festival it only seemed fair for it to feature!

For those of you who are new to this...A Dirndl is the traditional dress (generally) of German speaking countries but most associated with Bavaria and Austria. It is worn by locals on days of occasion or most commonly during the famous Oktoberfest. Derived from traditional working class country inspired dress but  later adapted for the upper class in much more expensive and intricate designs.
There is much more to the Dirndl than you would originally expect. The first thing you need to master before donning this traditional dress is its length. Locals can tell a tourist a mile off from the length of her skirt. The optimum length is just below the knee, midi if you will, not too long not too short (with it usually being the latter for amateur festival go'ers). Secondly where do you tie your bow? There are rules, well obviously is it a German tradition after all! The bow indicates a woman’s marital status (or in my case, lack of); Left: single, Right: taken, Centre: virgin, Back: widowed. And finally there is the colour, like all fashions, each year or season there are popular colours. Reds, blues and blacks tend to be the classic palettes and I'm sure it's no surprise I opted for a traditional style, fit and colour.  Of course men are not left out, they are often sporting the equally traditional, and I imagine uncomfortable, Lederhosen - leather shorts, shirt and a rather Robin Hood inspired hat.

I absolutely loved getting involved and dressing the part so if you've always fancied Oktoberfest but don’t think you are quite up to the challenge this is definitely the bier festival for you!...and once you've established your  German bier palette you can come back for Oktoberfest!

Even if it was a painful experience to squeeze into and wear after two mass, I absolutely love my Dirndl; purchased from a second hand shop here in Munich I feel like a true local in it ...and I can't help but enjoy that it probably holds many Fruhlings and Oktoberfest tales of its own!


Photography: It's Cohen!
Dirndl: Second Hand / 'Vintage' if you will!
Shoes: Miss Selfridge
Watch: Michael Kors
Necklace: H&M

'I find that I have to put myself in those situations to produce any reasonable good writing. I've still got that same thing about when I get to a country or a situation and I have to put myself on a dangerous level, whether emotionally or mentally or physically, and it resolves in things like that: living in Berlin leading what is quite a spartan life for a person of my means, and in forcing myself to live according to the restrictions of that city.'  - David Bowie

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