Last weekend we visited a Renaissance Fair again after three years. The last time we went back in 2016 in Hamburg which is/ was the biggest one in Germany. This time we went to the town of Hohenwestedt which is nearby my hometown and is probably the best location of all middle age markets we have visited. The entire fair is set up in a large park in the middle of the town and a small sports field next to it. The feeling is just so different when visiting such event when nearly everything is located in a park surrounded by huge old trees compared to other fairs where you only walk around an open field.
We all (except MIL) went there dressed up in some costumes. Nothing historical correct or whatnot all, just what we like to and this kind of fair is just right for it as the name already says “Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum” – “Medieval Fantasy Spectaculum”. You can see all kinds of people there dressed as knights, monks, Vikings, death and even some animals. Anything goes and the atmosphere is just great with music playing from several music stages and some randomn groups playing in between. We met some friends there and of course also other people we know already from my hometown such some neighbors and even a civil official working in the registry office specialized on marriages who has a Galadriel tattoo on one of his arms.
It was a lovely day with nice weather and a lot of walking for us. Nathan and Nathalie had tons of fun in the straw bale field playing with other kids and I could enjoy a couple of “interesting drinks”. Visiting such event, especially in Hohenwestedt, feels like entering a different world disconnected from the outside. Clothing for the event was kind of odd at first as we hadn’t done so in way too many years but as soon as we left the parking lot we were surrounded by like-minded people and everything felt right. Ruowei went once again as a Chinese princess, Nathalie was a mini princess, Nathan a General and I went in some odd mix of clothing and armor similar to the Rangers of Ithilien. Nothing too fancy but it took us long time collecting everything till we were satisfied. I think it was back in 2015 when we started this all after visiting the very same Renaissance Fair for the first time as a family. Back then my wife was shocked to see so many people dressed up for such event and loved it immediately. I always wanted to dress up for something like that but I had no idea that my wife of all people would like it as well! Even after several years of marriage she still manages to surprise me from time to time.
Have you visited any events where you have dressed up in a similar way?
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Just few weeks ago I wrote about the Medieval Market/ Renaissance Fair here at my hometown. I also mentioned that we would be going to a much bigger Market this months and today was the day for the journey. The whole event is called “MitterlalterlicherPhantasie Spectaculum” and is the biggest traveling cultural festival in the world. Nearly every weekend during the warmer months it is in another city with over 2500 people and over 1000 tents to bring the Medieval World back to our time. The closest location of this traveling market is in another city roughly 45 min by car away from us. Last time I had been there was 10 years ago!
First of all it seems that the whole town needs to participate somehow as there are just so many visitors coming. As most towns here are in the middle of farm land they just rent some fields and use them as parking lots. Through this all visitors can find some parking space BUT it results in a long journey to the festival grounds at the park in the middle of the town. Last time I was there the ticket price was around 10-15 Euros or so and it got a rather huge increase as it is now 30 Euros per person, eeeek nearly 100 Euros for us! But we both think it was worth it as it was a really special day.
So whats the difference to the free entrance market in my hometown last month? For starters it is so much bigger with multiple actors and bands performing the entire day. Then there are so many workshops you can participate such as pottery, blacksmithing and there are real knight battles (with jousting etc) on the field next to the park, many gleemen, random activities happening and tons of stuff to buy. The place was just full with people and many dressed up accordingly. When my wife saw how others were in chainmail or in beautiful dresses she decided for us that we will do the same for the Market in October.
Though I said last time that we will try to find something nice for Nathan we failed to get him any clothes as he is just too small right now so he had to settle for a mini wooden sword. As he is a fast learner he mastered the skill of one-handed sword fighting within a couple of hours and attacked (unsuccessfully) a dark knight. After that he decided that sword fighting is not his strong point and abandoned the sword for the rest of the day. All in all I can say that this was a really great day even though my current health situation was making everything a bit harder to get around.
Would you like to visit such renaissance fair?
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