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500 years dancing, Plague, adjust one’s tie, Schäfflertanz

Motorway Service Area Siegburg West

Only every other seven years the “Schäfflertanz” (Schäffler-dance, Schäffler = barrel maker, a decent old formerly important profession ) is performed in Bavaria, special in and round Munich. So our swarm insisted to watch the event today (February 2019) on the “Odeonsplatz”, Munich in front of the “Feldherrnhalle”. We had a great time documenting the Schäfflertanz and a lot of fun and brought home some souvenirs as well. The tradition started 1517, 500 years ago.

There is a strict choreography of only male dancers, one or more “Kasperl” (clowns) and “Faßschläger” (dancers hitting on a barrel in rhythms which is on the spot too and part of the dance).

The dance starts with the dancers marching in into the dancing arena accompanied by the “Bayerischer Defiliermarsch”, the inofficial Bavarian hymn which is often played on the „Oktoberfest“ as well. It is played again at the end of the dance.

An act of one of the dancers, balancing open glasses with “Schnaps” in rings. The Schnaps which is not spilled will than be given to some unfortunate member of the spectators. The Kasperl also run round and make fun of the spectators like smearing ash or ink on their noses which is supposed to bring good luck, which the spectators often don’t notice. One more souvenir.


But Schnaps is also sold to the spectators and other souvenirs as well.

The dance can also be seen every day at the „Marienplatz„, on the tower of the city hall where wooden, mechanic dancers dance while the iconic chimes play.

So Ronald D., who likes propper political behaviour and correctness and has something like the Plague at home (an illness which really still exists in the USA and Afrika) but doesn’t want to get depressed about it, went out to hold a speech and to make people happy and to forget about the bad situation. And to be one of the first ducks to document such an Schäfflertanz event. Nobody really listened though but at least he did straighten his tie and he was looking great. That of course was only after Sheila (other than the complete congress) told him about the problem although she is aware of the fact that in history messengers of bad news often received bad treatments, like Apollo’s white bird.

There are many different events of this Dance which are partly ordered and payed for by local business, our event was sponsored by top of the line shoemaker Eduard Meier, „königlich bayerischer Hoflieferant“ royal purveyor to the Wittelsbacher court which is close to Meier’s shop. A great way to finance projects of public interest.

We started the event with a drink and coffee in the Tambosi on it’s terrace which the swarm had visited before. Always a great, but not cheap place to sit outside and to enjoy a drink and the sun with a gorgeous view at the Odeonsplatz, one of the nicest and historically intersting places in Munich.

And a place where great leaders showed up before. We brought along our own barrel and later added some Schnaps to get some authentic pictures and to share in the event. Our barrel, ducks and Schnaps got the attention of the Kasperl and I had the privilege to get ash? ink on my nose. After weeks of disastrous snowfall in Bavaria we were lucky too as today is a sunny, warm day.

There is also a „Schäfflerstraße“ (steet) not far away in the Center in Munich to commemorate the traditon with some wood carvings of the Schäffler on the houses.


Credit: Maps Icons Collection,

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Motorway Service Area Siegburg West