Monday, 1 June 2009


A pinch and a punch and, gosh, it's the first of the month. Here it's also one of the wonderfully abundant public holidays.

This public holiday is called Pfingsmontag, which means 'Pentecost Monday'. It has traditionally been a day for celebration as Pentecost is an important date in the Christian calendar (it marks the time when the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples).

When I was trying to find out about the festival I came across a lovely article from The New York Times describing a Pfingstmontag gathering by Germans in New York in 1860. Here are some excerpts which give a flavour of the event:

'The recurrence of the German May festivals was hailed this year with unusual enthusiasm...
Motion was the order of the day, either in dancing, running, leaping, walking, turning, twisting, swinging, gyrating, rolling, riding or tumbling - all was a continued scene of unceasing, uninterrupted, continual, perpetual motion...
But, of all the amusements of the day, quaffing the foaming lager was the most universal.'
NY Times, May 29th, 1860
View full article...

My celebrations have been more humble. We all went out to an icecream parlour and I had a banana split. Oh, and I did some spins on the carpet with April this morning, which must count towards my quota of motion-based activities.

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