Monday, August 6, 2012

Saturday: The biggest day of Kirchtag!

I don't know if I will have as much writing for this post as I have had for the other posts. Considering I have 80+ photos and 30+ short videos as part of this post I think I can let those speak for themselves (also I'm pretty tired, took about 12+ hours for all the photos and video to upload on to here). If you have any questions drop me an email and I can always add in extra information into the blog.

Saturday August 5th, 2012

I headed into Villach Saturday afternoon to catch the Kirchtag parade. It looked like it was going to be another hot day which I wasn't entirely happy about.

What is this? I think it is the wagon for the local brewery in Villach. Just outside the main area for the festival

Another view

Saturday is suppose to be the biggest day of Kirchtag and to get into the main area of the festival you have to pay a nine euro fee (only on saturday, and you get a pin to wear to show you can enter the area). I paid and since the parade didn't start until five I wandered around the fair area.

Many booths that looked like this. Sweets, and more sweets, and toys...

The hauptplatz had beer gardens set up that were separated by small stages. Each stage had its own music group.

Small Stage music group

The maypole again. I didn't know Villach had one. I think they only put if up for the festival

View from Hauptplatz

You thought I was joking about the stalls filled with baked goods... Well here is another one!

Some music group members hanging around

As I detoured over to the ride area past St. Jakob's church I ran into a group of people dancing.

Why hello ferris wheel. You never seem as popular though as the other rides however I noticed that people can get their seating platforms to spin if they want to as they go up and around.

And what is this?!

A booth with alcoholic drinks in huge glasses. Basically if you wanted something to drink they would scoop it out of the 'glass' and serve it to you in a small plastic cup.

I decided to have strawberry coconut flavor. I think it was about 2.50/3.50 euro for .2 liters. I don't know what was in that stuff but I was 'buzzed' for about an hour after I drank it.

The 'claw' machines. There is another whole side to this with just as many machines on the other side.
I probably spent a little too much on the fair games but I don't usually do fair stuff back at home and so it seemed worth it to try stuff out while I was in Europe (I also blame the alcohol).

The temptation....

I played the duck game again and managed to get another stuffed animal.

A pig... somehow it seems oddly appropriate

I noticed people lining up on the side of the street about a half hour before the parade was to start. Eager to get a front row seat I stood against the wall under St. Jakob's church. A personnel person came along though and told us that we couldn't line up on that side of the street and that we would have to go on the other side. I manage to get over to the other side of the street quickly enough to still have a front row seat. However I did watch the personnel people clear the stone wall under St. Jakob's  about 10 times leading up to the parade.

The very smart people staked spots above the stone wall by St. Jakob's church.

Even the news/educational channel (ORF) for Austria showed up. They interviewed a woman in costume who was about 2 feet from me.

Interviewing more people.

I saw this random guy going around dressed in a dirndl. It seemed that he was carrying a box with small bottles of schnapps? He would be stopped by a person who I think would pay some sort of fee to have them both drink a small bottle of schnapps. I'm sure there was some purpose to having him drink the schnapps too but I never quite figured it out....

Five o'clock rolled around and we didn't see anyone. It wasn't until 5:30 pm that we saw the first paraders coming through (I'm guessing since we weren't at the start of the parade route it took awhile for the paraders to reach us).

Now before we start this photo and short video extravaganza from the parade I want to encourage you to take your time looking at the photos and videos. You may be thinking, but aren't all lederhosens, didndls, and austrian costumes the same? NO, each area has a different type of costume and if you pay close attention you can tell the differences (not to mention some different time periods were covered). Also this parade included participants from Slovenia, Italy, and Norway (? If I remember correctly I was told Norway) so you will get to see some traditional clothes from those areas as well.

In regards to the videos, yes I know there are a lot. Each video though ranges from 20-90 seconds and they are worth watching. Will you see Italians, Slovenians, or Austrians (the rough order you will see the costumes in is Austrian, Italian, and Slovenian; I will try to point out when the switches occur)? Will they be dancing, singing, playing instruments, giving out alcohol (often have girls carrying small barrels of schnapps, you can often seem them at the beginning of music groups), or doing a combination of all those things? WELL YOU WILL JUST HAVE TO WATCH THEM TO FIND OUT!!!

Look at those stockings and shoes...

Handing out candy.

I think these are slovenian costumes but they were kind of thrown into the austrian part of the parade. It could be a group from one of those areas straddling the border between Austria and Slovenia.

 And now the Italians!

Nice neck strap!

Now to the Slovenians!

Hey look! Its Vrhnika! That village is quite close to Stara Vrhnika, the village my great grandfather was born in.


I'm pretty sure all Slovenians love accordions. My austrian father has told me before that Slovenians are also really known for playing some very good accordion music.

And these do not look like slovenians. I think we are back to Austrians?

Yep. Back to Austria.

Because I was surprised to see Stara Vrhnika I didn't have enough time to get a video of them (very small group and they were moving quite fast). So I circled around to another part of the parade route and managed to catch them. First is Vrhnika and then I think 1 or 2 other villages after that. Stara Vrhnika starts when you see the wheelbarrow/wagon. It was pretty cool to see some traditional clothes from my great grandfather's birthplace. I wonder if I had any relatives in that group.....

 While I was happy to see the parade it was still pretty hot (in the 80s F) and I was happy to catch a train back home where I spent the evening relaxing and planning to visit the flea market in Villach the next day.

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