Pentecost or: what Germans make of it

It’s that time of the year again: Pentecost holidays, which means Monday off for everyone in Germany. A reason for young Germans to get together in groups and to drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol – all together in a tent. Yes, you understood me right: in a tent. It all started as a practice of the scouts to keep the young kids busy and to release the parents from their children for a few days. They camped in the beautiful German nature, made a campfire and ate campfire twist bread.
DE Pentecost intext1Historically it’s a holiday for commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31 in Christian religion. Pentecost can also refer to the fifty days between Easter and Pentecost, hence its name. It also falls on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday.

For most German it means another 4-days-of-work-week after the last short week due to Ascension Thursday. And, like I already mentioned, some days of camping, drinking and just having fun with friends. It also takes a lot of time to prepare for the perfect camping weekend and to buy at least one crate of beer for every participant of this practice. So here is a short checklist for those who want to try Pentecost camping and don’t know the rules:

• Beer
• More beer
• Packing your tent and then leave it at home in case you want to sleep in the tent of the sweet neighbour
• Warm clothes (normally it’s not that warm on Pentecost days)
• A barbecue and barbecue equipment
• Countless amounts of meat for the barbecue (people who bring vegetables are being bullied during the whole weekend)
• Hankies (in case you didn’t notice: you are camping in a forest/pure nature without any sanitary facilities)
• Condoms (just in case…)
• And last but not least: don’t forget your dignity (because you’re still an educated human being)
DE Pentecost intext3

If you have all this, it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy the last hours of a civilised environment and get ready for some days of total craziness in the wilderness!
If you want to read more about German culture and German behaviour, you might also want to know something about Germans freaking out in summer.


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