It is Pentecost Sunday, a day in the church calendar that can vary in importance depending on which particular branch of Christianity is doing the celebrating. In Germany (or at least in my part of Germany) it is a big deal.
I say that, not because I have seen any particular emphasis on the coming and work of the Holy Spirit (which is what Pentecost is all about), but because here it is a major holiday. Not only are stores closed Monday, but school children have the next two weeks off.
That is nice for them I am sure, but all the holidays here (there were two weeks at Easter, a week for Lent, a week in the Fall) mean that the school year runs until the end of July. Which makes for a shorter summer break than Canadian students get. I suppose there are pros and cons to it, but I think I would prefer the two months off.
In Sulzburg, Pentecost is celebrated with a craft market in the town square. When I first checked it out yesterday morning I wasn’t overly impressed. I admit though, I was in a rush and didn’t look closely. In the afternoon I had more time; my wife was looking for a few things so I joined her on the expedition. The afternoon trip was quite different from my quick walk-through in the morning.
I should point out that craft markets have never held much appeal to me. I can never seem to find anything I really want at a price I am willing to pay. Which makes me either thrifty or cheap – the choice of adjective is yours. I don’t mind looking though.
What made the afternoon trip different, aside from having tie to just enjoy, was the realization that the craft market extended beyond the market square in front of the castle. There’s not much room in the square, I guess that there were about 20 booths there that I had seen in the morning. What I hadn’t noticed was that there were booths behind the Rathaus (city hall) and extending into an underused park. Lots of booths.
There were ceramics and jewelry, woodworkers’ products, handmade clothing, local jams and jellies, artwork, some food offerings and entertainment in at least two places. The booths in the park were shaded, which was a bonus – it can be hot in the square on a sunny day.
It was colourful and I enjoyed seeing what was on offer. My wife found what she was looking for (I think). It was busy, but not crowded, if you know what I mean. I’m definitely going back – one of the food booths serves Thai food. I’ve been missing Thai food in this land of schnitzel. I almost ordered some yesterday, but that seemed too self-indulgent given that we were going out for dinner – didn’t want to spoil my appetite.
A three-day outdoor craft festival seems to me to require a certain amount of faith on the part of the vendors. Will it rain? Will people attend?
Earlier in the week there was a lot of weekend rain forecast, but yesterday was sunny and today will supposedly be the same. A high around 20 Celsius (68 F) should make for a pleasant shopping experience. Given that stores are closed here on Sundays, I expect bigger crowds today. Since you can’t make it, here’s a few photos I snapped on my phone Saturday. I might have some more for you tomorrow or Tuesday.