The Charm of the Dirndl

Each year, millions flock to Munich for Oktoberfest, the celebration of beer and Bavarian culture. Among the festival’s most enduring sights are German girls and women wearing their traditional dirndl dress. This fetching garment had humble origins: in the 19th century, the Dirndlgewand was a common outfit worn by Austrian servants and rural women. Later in the century, the upper classes of Austria and Bavaria had begun to idealize the rural life, and the dirndl (and lederhosen for men) became fashionable.

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Photo by hornsbyrsl

A tradition dirndl includes a bodice, a blouse, a colorful long dress and an apron. Dirndls can be worn all year long, with two types: spring-summer and fall-winter. The spring-summer dirndl is usually a brightly colored cotton dress, light and thin, and a short-sleeved shirt with a plunging collar. The fall-winter dirndl is a thick and heavy dress, made from linen, velvet or wool fabrics, very warm, usually with darker colors, a long-sleeved shirt, high collar, and an apron made from cotton or linen.

Accessories often accompanying the dirndl are a silk scarf (in summer) or wool scarf (in winter), and jewelry such as silver necklaces, earrings and brooches as well as necklaces made from stag’s horns or animal teeth. In the past, the apron played an important role because the position of decorated buttons or knots would express the marriage status of wearers. If the knot was on the left of the apron, the wearer was still single. If knot was on the right, she was married. A knot at the back of dress and no buttons on the apron meant the wearer was a widow.

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Photo by nikkiamram

Nowadays, the dirndl dress is still found mainly at festivals, or worn by waitresses in traditional Bavarian restaurants, at biergartens (beer gardens) or by other tourism industry workers. At Oktoberfest, the dirndl is seen everywhere, making a colorful and charming sight for festivalgoers.

In recent years, however, the dirndl has become fashionable again, worn as a casual outfit in some parts of Austria and Bavaria. It has even made its way to the ranks of haute couture. In the 2013 Spring/Summer fashion season, dirndl-type skirts have become a hot trend in European fashion, with many designs combining classic and modern, discreet lines and daring deep collars to make the dirndl more attractive than ever. The style has made its way to fashion stores in Munich, Milan, Berlin, London and Paris with designs by famous brands like Givenchy, Dior and Chloe. From its humble Alpine origins more than 200 years ago, the dirndl continues to charm.

The biggest festivals around the world

December always delivers a festive atmosphere around Christmas and the New Year. But there are unforgettable celebrations all year long, and this month Heritage Fashion takes a look at some of the most colorful and exciting festivals around the world

 

1. Rio Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

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Lasting five days in February and attracting around 2 million visitors, the traditional carnival in Rio de Janeiro is considered to be the largest one worldwide. Carnival in Rio is an unforgettable spectacle of flamboyant costumes, endless processions and non-stop samba hip shakes.

2. Boryeong Mud Festival -Boryeong, Korea

In fashion and beauty-obsessed Korea, this festival celebrating the cosmetic properties of mud from Boryeong has taken on an international profile. The Boryeong Festival was created by a local cosmetic brand to promote the area’s natural mud as a superior beauty care ingredient. Visitors, which now number over 2 million for the two-week summer festival, join unique games from mud-throwing to mud slides, pools and even a “prison” where visitors get splashed with mud

3. White Nights Festival – Saint Petersburg, Russia

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This festival, which takes place during the midnight sun of summer in St. Petersburg, entices millions of visitors from all over the world to the former capital of Russia. Classical music, opera, ballet and overnight fireworks displays offer nightly entertainment, while the “Scarlet Sails” celebration is the most famous highlight. The White Nights Festival has even been adopted in other large cities in France, England, Italy, Australia, the US and Canada

4. Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival -Pingxi, Taiwan

Thousands of lanterns are released into the night sky in Pingxi during this annual festival that takes place in February. Tracing its roots to a belief that fire will help ward off evil spirits and diseases, nowadays, the Taiwanese release colorful sky lanterns that convey their own personal wishes. Visiting Pingxi during the sky lantern festival, you can join in these robust lantern events while relishing traditional delicacies such as sweet rice balls, long deemed a luck bringer in Taiwan.

5. Songkran Festival – Thailand

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The New Year in Thailand comes in mid-April, the hottest period of the year. No surprise, then, that the traditional Songkran festival involves the world’s biggest water fight. Locals and visitors soak each other using everything from buckets to water guns, creating a raucous and joyous scene. Even non-humans get in on the act: elephants are special guests at many Songkran Festivals in Thailand, using their powerful trunks to blast water!

6. Day of the Dead – Mexico

“Dia de los Muertos”, or the Day of the Dead, is a traditional Mexican celebration that coincides with Halloween and lasts three days. However, instead of trick-or treating, the Day of the Dead is meant to honor family reunions and to memorialize and pray for the departed, featuring rituals such building private altars decorated with skulls and marigolds. On Day of the Dead, many people spend time enjoying street art performances of musicians dressed as skeletons and visiting the graves of loved ones.

7. Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – New Mexico, US

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This festival of giant balloons in Albuquerque is an event that takes place every October and lasts nine days. About 750 hot-air balloons fill the sky over Albuquerque, dying the entire firmament with a multitude of colors. Balloon contests and food courts prove to be magnets for children and die-hard fans of this festival.

In addition, you can check out the beer festival in Germany – Oktoberfest

8. Battle of the Oranges -Ivrea, Italy

While Spain is famous for its heated tomato food light, the Italians can also pride themselves in their equally outrageous orange festival. Every February, thousands of townspeople, divided into nine teams, hurl oranges at each other and at armor-clad “guards” representing the festival’s historical origins of rebellion. Once the orange fights are over, visitors get to indulge in some of Italy’s delicious traditional food

Welcome to Oktoberfest-Germany beer festival

From its simple origins more than 200 years ago, Munich’s annual beer festival, Oktoberfest, has become the world’s biggest party

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Photo by: Caci4bg

Oktoberfest was first held in October, 1810 on the occasion of the Prince Ludwig of Bavaria’s marriage. To celebrate the wedding, a festival was held on fields called Theresienwiese (Therese’s meadow), named after the Princess Therese. Horse races were held on the day, and the idea was born to recreate the event each year as a festival for Bavaria. The following year, an agricultural fair was added and the event was given the name Oktoberfest (October festival)

Initially this festival was jointly held by a number of groups in Bavaria, but from 1819 onwards, the exclusive right to host the Oktoberfest festival was granted to Munich.

For most of the 19th century, Oktoberfest was more modest than the spectacle of today. In 1818 the first carousel was added. Beer stands were set up for visitors to quench their thirst, but it wasn’t until 1896 that the first beer tent was established

In the modern era, Oktoberfest has become a culinary and cultural festival focusing on beer, and its reputation has grown far beyond Munich, Bavaria and Germany. According to Munich government statistics, every year over the festival’s two weeks the beer festival welcomes 6-7 million people from around the world. They drink about 6 million liters of beer and eat dozens of tons of potatoes, sausage, pork, chicken and beef.

During the festival, the streets in Munich become a great stage for performing arts and colorful parades. Crowds flock to the festival on packed subways and buses. Outside the Olympic Stadium the car park is filled with colorful tents, housing visitors from other European countries such as Italy and Spain.

Located in downtown Munich, the site for the Oktoberfest festival is packed with hundreds of theme parks offering a wide range of both old and new games. Wooden horse racing, Ferris wheels or magic shows have been traditions for many years. Meanwhile, modern rides such as roller coasters are packed with thrillseekers.

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Photo by nina_saldanha

However, what makes the Oktoberfest festival in Munich unique are its giant tents where food and beer are sold. Each tent has about 1,000 seats and is always packed with people of all ages and nationalities. As a rule, these beer tents are only open to the public from 1O a.m. to 1O p.m. but by 8 a.m, lines are already forming. And many overzealous beer drinkers have to be forcefully pushed out by staff at closing time.

Beer sold at the festival must meet specific criteria, such as being brewed with the Munich city limits. These Oktoberfest beers (also known as Marzen, or March, beers because they are actually brewed in the spring) usually have an alcohol content of at least 6%. And while the strong brews inevitably lead to bouts of public drunkenness, the overall festival is remarkably good-spirited and peaceful.

Some years ago when I attended the Munich beer festival, media in Western countries recommended that their citizens should not go to Munich during Oktoberfest because of terrorist threats. But these warnings did little to stop the flow of visitor to the world’s biggest beer festival. I asked an Italian man next to me whether he was concerned and he replied, “I do not see any terrorists here at all—just delicious beer and beautiful girls.”

Oktoberfest will soon be on tap once again; this year, it begins on September 21 and ends October 6. And as always, millions will flock to Munich for a taste of the finest beer in the world, delicious food and joyous crowds wearing traditional lederhosen and dirndls. Don’t hesitate to join the world’s biggest party.

So we just find out the world’s hottest festival with girls, now check out with the hottest place in a planet