Happy New Year (respectively old year in Sidney Australia)
Sheila and Rudolph joined me on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year 2019 in Oberammergau, Germany. We were surprised about how far back the time zone is in Sidney Australia, but as Einstein says, time is relative.
Sheila and Rudolph insisted to start the evening with a nice glas of mulled whine and a Bratwurst.
Visible in the background is the Hotel Wittelsbach where many Nazis and Adolf Hitler stayed 1934 to attend the Oberammergauer Passionsspiele. A famous guestbook exists which was later sold. There was a coffee shop on the first floor wich also used the balcony. Hitler used the balcony to talk to the enthused local Population. The Hotel belongs to the Streibl family with famous family member Max Streibl who became next Bavarian president for a short while until he was toppled in the „Amigo Affäre“ 1993. He followed famous Franz Joseph Strauß. Streibl himself was followed by brilliant speaker Edmund Stoiber. (the mentioned bear did also roam in the Ammertal at „Graswang„)
Then we joined the big, traditional “Sternrundgang” (Star Walk) with the “Sternsinger” where half of the village walk through the center of the village following a turning, lightened star and a group of singers with a brass band. The old, nostalgic event performed by the local music club where they play old traditional songs is a very romantic, picturesque walk with defined stops at several places. After the singers end their songs and a specific tune is played as salute, everybody in the crowed shouts “A guads neichs Joahr” which means happy New Year.
Except for the church cemetery where another special song ist played, only two salute shots are fired to commemorate the deceased. Next to the big star with the big crowd two groups of children also walk through the village from door to door playing in a string band each and singing the same songs as the big star walk. They are called “Sternsinger” too but they don’t do that completely for charity but also to add some money to their pocket money. This might last until 1 ore 2 in the morning, a big adventure for the small kids roaming the dark streets of the village. Of course they on their way receive some “Brotzeit” and hot tee on their adventurous way in some of the homes they visit (no alcoholic). The scene is also a popular motive for wood carvings and post cards and of course photos.
We also passed the “Heimatmuseum” which we had also visited just a day before and where we learned about the interesting fact, that Sculptor Otto Lang from Oberammergau created the Statue of Viceroy Li-Hung-Chang (Li Hongzhang) in Shanghai China.
Li was a very important and illustrious politician in the 19’th century who negotiated for China with “Queen Victoria”, England who awarded him a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, “Otto von Bismark” Germany, which awarded him with the “Großkreuz des Deutschen Adlerordens”. He met Ulysses S. Grant. Grant like other becomming or former USA presidents had also (and that is a nice link again) visited the Oberammergauer Passionspiele.
Then we enjoyed the fireworks with the Kofel Mountain in the Background.
We wish you all A Happy New Year.
Credit: Maps Icons Collection, https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com
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