“Ischa Freimaak!” That’s a dialect of German and means something like: “Yay, again we can see colorful lights and drunken people, drink a lot ourselves, eat a lot of unhealthy but very delicious greasy stuff and try to keep this stuff in our stomaches on the rollercoaster!” Or in short: Yay, it’s Freimarkt in Bremen! It is the largest fun fair in the north of Germany and has a longer tradition than the Oktoberfest. Oh yes!
And it’s much better, too, because nobody forces you to wear leather trousers or a dirndl dress like the weirdos in Bavaria. Just kidding, I love Bavarians. 🙂 (By the way: Lately people seem to misunderstand that the Freimarkt isn’t the Wies’n and wear them anyway. This has not to become a rule, guys, please!)
But back to the Freimarkt. This year I actually made it to the opening day to see the big fireworks. I love the Freimarkt. I guess all people who grow up in Bremen are brainwashed or something to love it. You would feel guilty not going and every time you are there you think: How noisy and how many drunkards – this is so great! But back to the history, because I wanted to tell you something about that.
The Freimarkt is one of the oldest fairs of Germany. It’s taking place since 1035 (the Oktoberfest was first held in 1810 as a horse race). This year it’s the 979th Freimarkt.
Originally, it was a goods market. The name “free market” points to the fact that for the first time small traders and wayfarers could freely sell their goods in Bremen regardless to the local guilds. The market was held in the historical center of Bremen on the churchyard. It became a colorful and exciting event with the travelling people visiting it. In the 19th century it began to change into a fun fair and in 1935 it moved to the Bürgerweide, a large space behind the Central Station where it is located until today every year in October.
What can you do on the Freimarkt?
You can eat all the time. And drink. It is expensive, but that doesn’t matter in the fifth season. My favorites are “Schmalzkuchen”, a typical German thing. I really have no idea how to translate the name. I found a website where they are called “Little Donuts”. Although they don’t resemble donuts like I know them they are maybe made the same way. They are little pieces of yeast dough that is fried. You can eat it with powder sugar or Baileys or whatever you like. Very yummy!
Of course you can also go to the haunted houses or ride on one of the many different rollercoasters. After the fun fair closes, you can party on in the “Bayernzelt” (Bavarian tent) or in the “Halle 7”, a huge club. I personally don’t like the Halle 7 because it’s very crowded and smelly and they play German “Schlager” music most of the time, for which you have to be very drunk. If you don’t know what I mean you can read this funny article in the Guardian, although I really disagree with this statement:
“When the average German wants to switch off after a hard day at the office, they are more likely to play an Andrea Berg album than open a beer.”
Eeeeeh, NO, NOT AT ALL! 🙂
Anyways, go to the Freimarkt! And if you leave, take a “Lebkuchenherz” (gingerbread heart) with you. You may eat it or give it to anyone you love – it doesn’t matter. You will never forget the Freimarkt. 🙂