A Valley Ablaze: The König-Ludwig-Feuer in Oberammergau, Germany

Paying homage to Bavaria’s beloved King Ludwig II with bonfires, processions, and revelry.

A Peek at Germany’s Ettal Monastery

Spying the elaborate dome of the Ettal Monastery for the first time, I was surprised to see such ornate architecture dramatically rising out of the countryside, juxtaposed with the area’s modest Bavarian homes. The monastery, located in the village of Ettal, is not far from the mountain village of Oberammergau, which is well-known for its Passion Play, held everyContinue reading “A Peek at Germany’s Ettal Monastery”

Slap Happy: Dancing the Schuhplattler in Bavaria

One of the joys of exploring Germany’s Bavaria region is seeing the people’s penchant for preserving tradition. In the village of Oberammergau, where we’ve spent much time visiting my parents, it’s not uncommon to spot an older gentleman wearing a loden green, woolen hat, with feather, during a grocery-shopping trip. On holidays, ladies often don vibrant Dirndls (dresses withContinue reading “Slap Happy: Dancing the Schuhplattler in Bavaria”

A Bavarian Horse-Blessing Ceremony

As we sauntered closer to the village of Unterammergau, Germany, horses trotted past us, their highly decorated manes and tails blowing in the late autumn breeze. Not to be outdone by the animals’ distinguished appearances, the horse owners also sported fine Bavarian attire: the men wore grey woolen jackets finished with deer-horn buttons, and darkContinue reading “A Bavarian Horse-Blessing Ceremony”

Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony

During the last weekend of every October, the village of Unterammergau, Germany honors St. Leonhard, the patron saint of agricultural animals. The event begins with a horse procession through the village of 1,500 people, and culminates in an open-air church service, during which more than one hundred horses are blessed. (Unterammergau is the neighboring villageContinue reading “Tails from a German Horse-Blessing Ceremony”