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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

May 1, 2012

German mating season 2012

Filed under Life in Europe

My amateur anthropological observation of young Germans led to additional insights this year on the customs of the native population in my vicinity. :-)

German mating ritual
 A trailer prepared for the evening ritual.
German mating ritual
 A sapling placed by a female native at the
 house of a desired male native.

As happens every year here in this part of the Rhine region, on April 30 an agricultural trailer was prepared for a special mating rite that takes place during the night of April 30 to May 1. I think that this is the same trailer that was used the last time I reported on this ritual. The trailer is decorated with ribbons (and sometimes flowers as well), and then it serves as an all-night rolling disco machine as a battery-power boom box blasts German rock-folk music at levels that would normally not be allowed after 10:00 p.m. This year, however, the annual mating tradition among the natives was a bit different. It seems that the natives have a tradition that in leap years (this year is a leap year) the fellows aren't the ones who "man" the trailer. Instead, it is the ladies. So yesterday afternoon they were busy preparing the trailer for its all-night journey through the streets of the small villages where I live. In keeping with the tradition, the female natives obtained saplings that they decorated and then affixed to the dwelling of the male native for whom they have a particular interest. The sapling usually has some symbol attached with the particular male native's name. This year was the first time I noticed these saplings being advertized in advance of last night's ritual. It seems some older natives in the area are aware of the fact that these saplings are in demand on the night of April 30, so they have made a business out of offering them for sale to the younger natives. My neighbor was so kind as to give me advance warning in the afternoon that it might be quite loud at night as the young female natives rode around on their trailer. I assured her that I would not be bothered, since I wear ear plugs at night – a consequence of my years in the Philippines, where the natives there have a habit of assembling vehicles for transport called jeepneys that do not have mufflers. With the help of my ear plugs, I was not bothered during the night by the noise of the mating ritual.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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