You might not be able to find an association between the words “party” and onions”. But here we are to change your perspective about it.
Every year, in the gorgeous city of Weimar, it is celebrated the Zwiebelnfest (OnionFest). This event has been held for a long time, specifically since the 19th century. The 2021 celebration will be the 367th edition of the OnionFest. Because of this, it is considered the largest folk festival in the state of Thuringia.
How it started:
The reason to make a festival are pretty obvious, mainly to celebrate a specific event such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. But the people of Weimar found another reason to celebrate, and this is the arrival of the winter. Of course, that in those years the winter season was harder and colder, meaning that they had to stock up their reserves of food. Specifically, vegetables. So, in order to make the whole process of waiting for the chilly months more pleasant, they started the Zwiebelnfest. An event where they could celebrate, laugh, enjoy and have fun while stocking up their supplies for the dark season.
Around the 19th century, the festival started to get recognized all around the country. Because of this popularity, they decided to extend the festival to three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (only after the service) meaning that the whole idea behind the event was a completely success.
During the GDR era, up to 120,000 visitors came to the city from all parts of the republic – although the festival was shortened to one day. For example, 32,000 onion panicles were sold in 1970 – 100 tons of onions after all. Sometimes the coveted panicles were already sold out in the early morning. Renaming the onion market to the “Socialist Harvest Festival” was just as unsuccessful at the time as preventing unplanned performances by musicians in the streets.
Something changed one more time:
After the fall of the Wall, the market was again extended to three days. One week before the festival, the onion market queen is crowned and an extensive stage program entertains the 300,000 visitors. At the beginning of September, the onion farmers in Heldrung begin to wrap thousands of onion panicles. Two-tone, mini or extra-long – they are popular with locals and tourists alike. Onion panicles, dried bouquets and onions are sold at around 100 stands. In total, the hustle and bustle of the market has grown to 600 stalls.
The Onion Queen:
One of the event’s highlights is the whole ceremony about the “Onion Queen”. During this ceremony, one woman gets chosen to represent the event for a full year until the next festival’s edition. The regent queen is 48 years old Katrin who will also make apparencies related to the tourism in Weimar.
Music is also part of the event:
Exactly, after all, it is a festival! That is why every year there is a stage where musical guests are invited to perform in front of all the audience that make the festival possible.
As you can see, the Zwiebelnfest is something that you don’t hear often. But after all it has the same essence as any other festival. Which is to bring joy, happiness and fun.