Tag Archives: fair

Hang out the Sendschwert… there’s a fair on in Münster!

Münster has a fair three times a year. They call it the Send – which apparently is a derivation of “Synod” and originated with some rather jolly get-togethers of clerics in the 9th century.

When the Send is on, the city fathers hang out the Send Sword, or Sendschwert, on the town hall. This is a disembodied arm holding an upright sword. Apparently this is a reminder that any unruly behaviour at the fair used to be punishable by death.  So when attending the Send, I am always careful not to drop my candyfloss or park illegally. The Münster city fathers might take it personally and decide to impale me.

Sendschwert, Send Sword

A disembodied arm with sword... oh my!

The good news is that those 9th century clerics certainly knew how to party, judging by the modern day Send. Of course the risk of being impaled on the Sendschwert increases with every jug of beer…

Send Münster

Roll up! Cheap beer all week!

A German fair would not be complete without rides. And the Send specialises in the kind of rides which can only be described as absolutely freaking terrifying.  Seriously – I mean who in their right mind would go on this voluntarily? No wonder the fair is announced with the public display of severed limbs!

rollercoaster

Centrafugal stomach churner

I know you’re  thinking that after an afternoon in Bruno’s Bierdorf, it might seem like a great idea to climb onto a contraption which will spin you like an odd sock in the laundromat of life….   but the city fathers have thought of that. Readers, meet German Health and Safety.

fairground germany

Positively no drunks allowed on the ride! Or people who are short, tall, pregnant, or in possession of any other condition known to the medical profession...

Now clearly there is a disconnect here. In order to want to get on the ride you would have to be drunk to the point of near-terminal stupidity. But as soon as you are drunk, you’re not allowed on.

The fair does, however, offer plenty of less dangerous attractions which will part the stupidly drunk from their hard earned Euros. Take, for example, the mechanical grab machine where you can win one of the most psychologically disturbing cuddly toys of all time – the creepy cuddly Michael Jackson doll.

fairground grab

You could win a creepy Michael Jackson doll... the stuff of nightmares!

Suddenly being impaled by the sword-wielding disembodied long arm of the law is sounding like the most compelling attraction at the fair! Well, apart from another jug of the cheap ale, of course.

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Filed under About Germany, German festivals, Life in Germany

Fish and chips at the fairground

I already mentioned that Whitsun in Meerbusch is not complete without a trip to the fair.

Apart from all the rides, it’s fun to browse the wonderfully kitschy stalls, with their strange array of things to eat…. popcorn, candy floss, toffee apples, lebkuchen-hearts…

Of course there’s one stall which we Brits always make a beeline for. The Backfischbude. This is the one place and time when you can get proper English-style Fish ‘n’ Chips in Germany.

The only secret the the Germans haven’t discovered about Fish ‘n’ Chips (nobody breathe a word, OK) is you need to add proper malt vinegar. This is impossible to find in German supermarkets. We import it ourselves from Britain.

So on Saturday, we went along for our Fish ‘n’ Chips with a secret stash of our precious malt vinegar carefully decanted into a miniature whisky bottle.

As we sat down to enjoy the feast, we did get some odd looks from Germans as we all appeared to pour a generous measure of Scotch onto our fish… in fact I could almost hear the clunk of jaws dropping when not only we adults but also our children followed suit.

Finally, I have to share with you this couple of slot machines I found lurking over near the dodgems. They don’t make ’em like that any more!

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Filed under food, German festivals, Life in Germany

All the fun of the fair…

This coming weekend is the annual Whitsun fair in Meerbusch. A chance for kids and adults alike to consume a diet of alcohol, fat, sugar, chemical additives and then go on rides which are guaranteed to have you splattering the fairground with vomit from a great height.

It’s an excellent opportunity for you to feed your children the sort of nutrician-free goodies which will make them hyperactive all night – thus ensuring you can stay and boogie in the beer-tent until dawn.

Hyperactivity guaranteed!

For our family the highlight of the weekend will be when we all get together on the horseracing game. This involves trying to roll a wooden ball into holes in a board. If you manage it, your horse will move forward by another one, two or three leaps. The winner of the race is awarded a cuddly toy to add to the burgeoning collection of Whit-fair animals which every child in Meerbusch possesses.

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Filed under German festivals, Life in Germany