On Thursday, May 14, 2015 I sat in my apartment on the quiet morning to edit my book manuscript. Around noontime, I heard loud bouts of techno music playing outside my window.
Confused, I opened the window and gazed at two separate groups of men dressed in sombreros and balloons; one was dragging a wagon stashed full of booze while the other dragged a speaker on two wheels. Surprised, I screamed, “It’s Himmelfahrt! I completely forget.” Locals told me tales of this epic German party where men drank from morning to night lugging wagons cocked with booze around Hannover’s Maschee Lake.
Excited, I closed my laptop and grabbed my “fahrrad” or bike. Like a hungry mouse following a trail of crumbs, my ears perked while following the sounds of techno music blasted from the distance. Before I could leave Old Town, I noticed several young Germans struggling to push their medieval-style wagon while trying not to spill a line of vodka shots as the wagon shook atop the cobblestone street.
Approaching the lake, I knew I found my pot of cheese as flocks of men, young and old, led wagons blaring techno and EDM. Distraught, I thought, “What the hell is this?” I saw a group of football-enthusiasts dressed in kilts carrying a speaker belting out Limp Bizkit. It dampened my techno buzz.
For a moment, I stood is disbelief questioning, "Where are the dads?" Not a dad? Not a problem! It pretty much is an excuse for a long holiday weekend to drink until your sea-legs can no longer support you.
By mid-afternoon, every man was in his prime state of drunkenness. This is when the idiocy, “good ideas” and games began. People drove tricycles and dragged their buddy sitting on a sled enjoying an ice cream cone. Men sat on bridges overlooking the lake while releasing multi-colored smoke bombs. Others cooked German tube steaks with their left hand while downing a beer with their right hand. Some downright taunted the Polizei with monkey-like movements that glided across the sandy street.
Drinking is in the German blood and they know how to drink and handle their alcohol. They have amazing constitutions that can eat, drink and be merry for hours without gaining one pound. I sat at the “bier garten” next to civilized Germans as we watched men (and women) fester around the Maschee lake with their beer goggles.
The puking and passing out began around 4:00 p.m. for those who drank at frühstück (breakfast). Young men looked like wounded soldiers as their friends carried them to a park bench with their feet dragging the entire walk. Around the same time, the wagons congregated to the “Rathaus,” or city hall, where the barbeques and beer tents reached maximum capacity. At this point, girlfriends and and other ladies joined the groups to encourage reckless behavior such as rolling down hills while holding a beer. Old 80-year old German women walked with their canes and grim faces in disgust at the boisterous youth.
German holidays are prime days for open-air and electronic parties. If they even finally have enough, the German partiers will go to bed during the late evening hours. But those with enough energy find their way to the nearest techno club to party until 10 a.m. the next morning. If your holidays are a little dull, head to Germany. Because nothing praises the good Lord better than an epic 24-hour beer fest and a 12-hour German techno party.