Today, Xiao U wants to introduce a very interesting place to you
This is the largest state in Germany and one of the wealthiest and oldest regions in Europe. Beer, BMW, Adidas and beautiful women are their symbols.
But it is this place that Germans are proud of
But a bunch of “traitors” came out
There is a small town called Dietfurt in central Bavaria. The residents there have proudly called themselves “Bavarian Chinese (Bayrische Chinese)” for generations. Seriously than ourselves!
And this tradition has been going on for hundreds of years.
During the Chinese New Year, the residents of Dietford town will spontaneously hold a carnival parade. They symbolically crown an ordinary citizen as an “emperor”, and the mayor is demoted to an “official”. The streets are covered with “Fu” characters, lanterns, and “dragon” elements. At first glance, you think you are in China.
A monument was erected at the entrance of the town, which stated that they were 7,698 kilometers away from Tiananmen Square in Beijing.
Every year, the Chinese Carnival starts at 2 am on the first day, and the bear children dress up as colorful clowns and take to the streets to beat gongs and drums, waking up the whole city residents: Today we are all Chinese!
Then the whole city was closed to traffic, and the residents put on makeup.
At 13:61 on the day of the carnival (the local people deliberately timed it this way), surrounded by the “eunuchs” and the sound of gongs and drums from the “Royal Forest Army”, the “emperor” appeared on the stage in eight large sedan chairs and toured the whole city – lasting 5 days. Carnival” kicked off.
Behind the emperor were dragon and lion dance teams, brass bands, and citizens dressed as various court ladies and warriors. There were nearly fifty teams. Both sides of the road are covered with Chinese flags, and the onlookers are also wearing mandarin jackets, straw hats, Peking Opera masks and mustaches…
After the parade, surrounded by the crowd, the emperor will read out the “Letter to the Subjects”, praying for good weather in the coming year, peace and prosperity for the people. Then everyone sang the “National Anthem” of “Chinese in Bavaria”.
Such an atmosphere, even in the real China, we may have to go to Hengdian to experience it. Chinese tourists who come to Dietfurt for the first time will look confused: Did I travel through time?
This carnival filled with strong “Chinese style” is neither dominated by the Chinese nor is it a commercial activity. It is a local cultural tradition.
Even though most of the residents here do not actually speak Chinese at all, Chinese is still the local “official language”. These Germans are still proud of being “Chinese in Bavaria”. They admire Chinese culture, and there are several Chinese museums and Chinese schools in the town.
Since Dietfurt officially held the first “Chinese Carnival” in 1928, it has become an officially recognized event ever since. More than 80 years have passed, Dietfurt holds the “Chinese Carnival” every year, and its influence is growing, and even people from some other places come to participate in the carnival.
Every year, the Chinese Carnival also has a theme. For example, the theme in 2006 was “Choose a Concubine for the Emperor”, but it was actually a beauty pageant for local girls.
Amidst the din of gongs, drums and firecrackers, residents rushed to the streets, bars, restaurants… saying “Congratulations” to each other and cheering for five days.
It is said that in the local area, the Chinese Carnival is the most important festival, more important than Christmas.
So, why do foreigners in this town call themselves “Chinese”?
There are two sayings:
A: In the Middle Ages, the church imposed heavy taxes on the people, and the local citizens were overwhelmed. When the tax collector arrived, they all left their homes and hid at the base of the city wall. This incident was ridiculed by the church, and the paunchy bishop described these poor citizens as Chinese hiding under the Great Wall to escape foreign invasion. When the news was sent back to Dietfurt, the local residents didn’t care, and instead called themselves “Chinese” to fight against the arbitrariness of the church.
B: The local people did business with the Chinese hundreds of years ago, exchanging local silver and handicrafts for Chinese silk, porcelain and tea. With more exchanges, their love for China does not stop at the level of utensils, but they love Chinese culture from the bottom of their hearts, and use the cultural fragments obtained in trade to piece together the imaginary “Chinese Carnival”.
The latter statement is more credible. According to the calculation of time and dress, Chinese culture had already penetrated into Germany around the Kangxi and Qianlong periods. At the beginning, the people in the town all pretended to be dressed in Chinese clothes and learned to use chopsticks and eat rice. As early as 1860 in the old almanac, Dietfurt was called “Chinese”.
But soon, everyone felt that it was not enjoyable enough. In 1928, the local area relentlessly changed the traditional local Catholic “Carnival” and held the first Chinese Carnival—even though the Qing Dynasty had been dead for more than ten years at that time.
The “Chinese Carnival” is the only carnival in Bavaria, because the Germans don’t celebrate it like this, and the Chinese don’t… Every year, 20,000 to 30,000 people flood into this small town with fewer than 10,000 residents. Just for a spectacle.
However, in China where the taste of the new year is getting weaker and weaker, seeing crooked nuts thousands of miles away celebrating our festival in this way, I feel a little kind for some reason!