Thursday, 26 February 2009

the biggest winter folk festival in BAVARIA
extracts from reports
of class 10d KRS
this popular, social and political
event in
the district of Neumarkt i.d.Opf.

Excursion to Berching on 4th February 2009

There were again nearly 20 000 people who came to Berching for appraising glorious decorated horses. At 9 o'clock sharp the traditional start of the single performances of the horses was carried out.

Amongst them, there also stood the oldest horse named Charly, a Shetland-Pony-mongrel with the proudly age of 43.

Not only ponys but also cold-blooded horses, for example “Tony“ and “Nero“, which are still used for forest operations, were shown to the public. Afterwards it was possible to see the individual horses in proximity. All in all there were shown more than 150 horses and harnessed teams on the biggest winter public festival in Bavaria.

The real highlight of the event was the Bavarian prime minister Horst Seehofer, who made a speech about the readjustment of the fee for the physicians and he responded to the decay of the milkprices.

The about 100 demonstrators, consisting of farmers and doctors saw a censorious culmination of their income situation, which would jeopardize their survival.

Minister president Seehofer, who was voted in his office the year before, talked about the current problems like Federal State Bank, economic crisis, health conflict and protests of farmers, and he pleaded for a premium medical supply for the population.

The real beginning of the annual “Rossmarkt“ in Berching was in the Middle Ages and it was first mentioned in 1628. An evidence of the introduction of a “horse inspection“ is shown in the council order of 1722.

At first the aim wasn't to display the horses.

The veterinarians were rather to avoid contagious horse epidemics. Greatest importance was attached to the health of the horses, because in former times they were after all working animals and conveyances and ensured their owners survival

Nowadays admittedly you can see horse friends and political committed visitors on the marketplace of Berching. And beside them there are also a lot of salesman with their booths, where you can buy nearly everything, from trousers, buttons to sausages made of horse meat.

This year there have been about 250 booth oweners licensed.
On February the fourth of this year, our class drove to Berching where the “Rossmarkt” is placed. It’s the biggest winter-folk festival of the province Bavaria that takes place every year in February.
In the shopping streets you could see lots of booths that were put up on the left and right and there were different goods like candy, spices, clothes and cleaning materials offered. After two local politicians had expressed themselves for about thirty minutes concerning the beautiful town of Berching and the “Rossmarkt”, the long expected prime minister of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer went behind the microphone. He asked for the return to tradition, the ancestry and the “Down-to-earthiness” as well as the humanity, also from pages of the politic.

Report on the Berching Horse-Fair

The Horse-fair has taken place in Berching since 1920 and is a huge festival for horse-fanciers and for the local people every year again. Not only people from near but from all over the world can be seen. You can find beautiful horses there and stands where you can buy almost anything you like. As far as the eye can see lots of people are waiting for the horses passing by or seeing well-known politicians.

Our class rode with a bus from Neumarkt to the traditional horse-fair which took place on 4th February. On arriving there we had to force through the crowds of people. We were passing more than a hundred stands until we reached the market place where a big stage was built up. We were watching horses of different races which were decorated wonderfully.

But there were not only people showing interest for the four-legged animals but they were interested in listening to the speech of the Bavarian Minister President Horst Seehofer as well. About a hundred doctors and farmers were demonstrating against the government’s health and agrarian policy. By holding posters which read: “Our income is too small” or “The price for milk is too low” they certainly attracted a lot of attention.

But before Seehofer spoke to the crowd the mayor of Berching and the District President (Landrat) of Neumarkt saluted the people waiting full of expectation. At last Horst Seehofer, who was welcomed by a traditional Bavarian brass band, climbed up the stage.

At first he turned to the demonstrating doctors and farmers. He guaranteed to try his best to solve their problems. The main topic of his speech was the current international financial and economic crisis, which is also a huge problem in Germany. In general he talked about decreasing taxes and sinking prices for diesel which is used by farmers. On the whole Horst Seehofer promised the people a lot but time will show what becomes reality.

Rossmarkt in Berching

About 125 festively decorated horses and thousands of onlookers on Wednesday are back to the traditional market in the Oberpfalz, the Rossmarkt Berching. According to the police came from 15,000 to 20,000 visitors to the fair, as the largest winter festival in Bavaria applies.

After the festive lift the horse into the city center, the Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) keynote speaker at a political rally. In his speech he was limited to the existing and future agricultural policy. The internal party leadership disputes at the CSU, said he disagreed. Seehofer has also been adopted by about 100 demonstrators welcomed. Doctors and dairy farmers were protesting against the health and agricultural policy.

The market is considered the largest one-day winter festival in Bavaria. Each year, more than ten thousand visitors to the town to the lift of more than 100 beautifully decorated horses and teams to be admired. Up to 250 showmen, traders and business people offer their goods and services.
The tradition goes back to meeting an old rule back. In the 17th Century in this city was the first time a decree was issued that horse owners for their animals need to perform health checks. This disease should be avoided. From 1926 there was a horse and foal market. While it was the pet trade was now no more horses and ponies sold. The horse owners participate in the Ross market only partly, to their four-legged proud to present. But they boost premiums up to 50 euros per Ross. Some horse owners have for decades come to the Brauchtumspektakel.Geschäftsleute offer their goods and services.
Meanwhile, the market is because of the political rallies with senior politicians supraregional known. In particular, the speeches of Franz Josef Strauß aroused great interest. Former Bavarian Prime Minister was from 1973 to 1984 five times in Berching until today, no other speakers, as often occurred in the Rossmarkt.

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