Thursday, April 3, 2008

unique German traditions

We are going to a 'Schachtelfest' tonight, for my brother in law's girlfriend Verena.

In Germany there is an old saying that when a woman turns 25 without being married she is an 'old box'. It's a bit of a mockery where she is given many boxes, which are wrapped inside one another. Sometimes they will contain a gag gift, while other times they will contain a small gift that is more meaningful. It's more of a provincial way to celebrate.

We have been collecting and saving boxes for sometime and I am really looking forward to celebrating with her. It's also going to be fun taping origami money inside so she has to open them all.

As stoic and precise as Germans often are, I always appreciate the sense of humor and having unique celebrations even if there is a bit of a gender bias.

Another interesting one was when Stefan and I were engaged, his co-workers decided to have a bachelor's night for him. They started the evening with dinner at someone's house and then gave him a sign to wear. On the front it said 'Bachelor Farewell' and on the back it read 'your last chance'.

After getting him suited up he was handed a basket filled with random things - tools, a baby outfit, a toilet brush... really strange items. The object of the evening is to sell these items and use the profits to buy drinks for the group that he was out celebrating with. He even told me someone offered to buy his shirt off his back.

Since this will be my first and last schachtelfest, I will be sure to take a lot of photos. And fortunately that was Stefan's last night as a bachelor.


Caitlin said...

How funny! I really like those traditions...well, finding the humor in them!

JoernandAllison said...

OMG,I can't wait to hear all about the Schachtelfest!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE HEARING ABOUT CRAZY GERMAN PARTIES :)
Pictures, puhlease!!!

Troy said...

Hello Emily,
Thanks for all the fun and insightful stories about living in Germany. I hope you don't mind I've included a link to your site off of Munich Daily Photo, as I think it's a great place for expats to learn more about living in Munich.

Emily said...

Thanks Troy! I'll try to keep the stories coming, which isn't hard since there's always something interesting going on here.