Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photos from Freiburg

We love Freiburg, Germany!  We will be planting a church there in October so we are spending quite a bit of time there.  It’s about 45 minutes away from where we live.  Here are some of the latest photos taken this week.


These top 2 are actually window decorations from our village in Kandern.   This is definitely Carnival season!


The guy was playing a kind of an upside down steel drum that I have never seen before and pan pipes… all while he was kicking a Cajon drum.


This guy was playing acoustic guitar and was really good!


Yes, this is still Germany…but looks more like Morocco.


Germans love to drink and they are really creative about it…


This is actually a large bicycle that is powered by 8 people.  Each of them are drinking “German Beer”  and pedaling while they are getting some exercise going around the city of Freiburg.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Thumbprint ID-(grocery store payment)

Just thought I would share something that is becoming more popular in Germany.  The photo below is a thumbprint scanner at our local grocery store.  You simply put your thumb in this scanner and your grocery total is automatically taken out of your bank account. 

For all those Christian “conspiracy theorists”…could this be the beginning of the MARK OF THE BEAST?  :)

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Evil Spirits Away (Scheiben Feuer)

Tonight as we drove back home form Freiburg (where we are planting a church in October) in just about every village on the way, we saw the Scheiben Fires.  It begins with a parade of people with torches lighting the way up the mountainside.  As the night goes on, the fire torches that made their way up the mountain were being hurled through the air into the valley. 

Every year at the end of February, each village has the same tradition.  It is supposed to be on the Saturday after Ash Wednesday.  Apparently, the fire is to signify that spring is victorious over winter.  (I can totally understand this because winters here are dark, wet and depressing)

Sometimes, a straw witch is burned in the bonfire (as a result of Christian influence)…and the flying logs of fire are to chase off and banish the winter “spirits” and welcome spring.  As they hurl the logs or discs of wood, they chant “Schibi, schibo, die Schiebe die soll goh.”  loosely translated… “Schibi, schibo, we will push to make it go.”  This is accompanied by a night of partying & hard drinking.  (This is particularly hard for me to imagine because of the hangovers that they probably had after the last few weeks of partying during Carnival and the “Witch Ball”.)

This celebration is very much like the one for New Year’s & Ash Wednesday where the people dress in large masks with eerie lit eyes that are supposed to ward off evil spirits.  It seems that the Germans look for any opportunity to get together with their neighbors and have some drinks!

(But not our Christian German friends! :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Last Melon

As I open the last peanut butter cracker package (that I had hidden from the children) it feels like “the Last Melon” scene in Ice Age.  Remember when the characters found the Dodo birds last 3, then 2, then 1 melon that they were stockpiling for the impending Ice Age?  Sid retrieved “the Last Melon” in a slow-motion, football style scene.  When he finally made it through all the Dodo birds that wanted it, he “spiked” the melon, smashing it to the ground….and they all sigh a collective hmmmmm.  (It’s funny what we miss from America)


Mardi Gras-German Style

Carnival is interesting in Germany.  In our part of the country, this  “time of indulgence”  concludes with a “Hexenball” which is literally translated a witch party …complete with various forms of “gratification”.  Our village decorates the main square with strands of undergarments. 

The top photo is undershirts and the “Hexenball” banner.

Notice the three strands of underwear/bras in the bottom photo.  (The locals say that the underwear strands are a symbol of the “indiscretions” that the people are allowed during Carnival.  It’s too hard to remember with whom and at which house they slept the night before so they are just supposed to hang their clothing outside the house so they can be found.)

On ASH WEDNESDAY (today), they go to the local Catholic church and are supposed to repent for their sins.  (Well, at least the ones that they remember).  However, I thought that it is interesting that the school children (during the first hour of school) also go to mass and are supposed to repent for their “sins” of Carnival. Hmmmm.