Having previously seen how Germans celebrate on Shrove Tuesday (and the weeks before it) and compared that to our tradition of eating pancakes - I’ve been thinking about why we don’t put the same effort into celebrating events.
I still have no idea - but just before we left Germany I was lucky enough to get involved in another great holiday that is humdrum in the UK - but really made into something special in Germany (and most other European countries).
I should first explain how public holidays work in Germany. Unlike the UK, holidays are held on the day they are associated with no - the next Monday. So May the 1st in Germany is the public holiday - not the first Monday in May as it is for us. This is an interesting system and has plus points and negative points. A big negative is that when May 1st falls on a weekend - you don’t get a holiday. A even worse example is when for some reason two holidays clash on the same day. This year May 1st was on Ascension Day - which is another holiday in Germany - so rather than have two public holidays there was only 1!.
Now Ascension Day is the day that has been turned into a great celebration - this is ignored in the UK - but in Germany - the men have hijacked it - and it is Father’s day. When I say father’s day - it really is - no mucking around with cards and that sort of malarky - men get a cart - fill it with bottles of beer and go off into the woods for a day of walking and drinking (no need to tell you which one is done the most!).
We joined the Brass band of Serrig for a 2.5 hour walk from Serrig to Saarhoelzbach - where there was festival for the day - mostly oompah music but still enjoyable food, drink and company.
So why don’t we celebrate with such enthusiasm - I still have no idea - but next bank holiday - book a flight to Germany and no matter where you go there is likely to be a good simple party! :-D