Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Surprising Traditions

One of the things that is so wonderful about visiting something famous like Oktoberfest, in person, is that you get to see beyond the cliches to find other surprising details. Like these gingerbread cookies. These were sold everywhere around Oktoberfest. Most of these had little messages and notes of love frosted into them, from "I love you" and "I'm a princess" to "I'm single," and you were them strung on a ribbon like a necklace.

These are part of the festival tradition, a badge of honor that says, "I was at Oktoberfest today." Most kids had them on as they left for home, riding the U-bahn and fidgeting with the cookies. They are clearly also part of the local courtship rituals, with men and women walking hand in hand, in their lederhosen and dirndls, wearing giant cookies (literally, more than a foot across some of these) with messages that proclaim a relationship.

Here is our "little prince" with this cookie, we couldn't miss out on this tradition ourselves. We tried the gingerbread cookie later, and to be honest, it wasn't that great to us. But I bet to those who have grown up with Oktoberfest, it's the taste of a season they relish.

Who knew? And you probably thought Oktoberfest was all about beer. (Don't worry, it still is, those images will come too!)


  1. Oh, I remember those gingerbread cookies, I used to love buying them when I was a kid because they looked so pretty, but you're right about the taste, I really couldn't imagine eating one now :)

  2. Aww, from the bokeh I can tell your little prince is very handsome. :)
    They don't taste very good to me either...

  3. What a great way to celebrate! Cookies and beer. Could life get any better? ;)

  4. Stunning cookies, I would make the trip just for them. Been to a American Oktoberfest in Washington state but sometimes we Americans are not so good at interpretation. Grew up speaking only German at home, kleiner spoke to me. He looks like a prince, my friend! Thanks for sharing.

  5. How cool! And here I thought it was all about beer.

  6. Oh those Lebkuchenherzen! You can get them at every fair, they are such a tradition. But you are right, they don't taste - I don't think that anybody buys them for the taste. They are a sweet souvenir.

  7. Yes, in America it IS all about the beer, usually. This was fun to read - and he is adorable.


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