Munich Greeter

21 July 2013: The Kocherlball at the Chinese Tower

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Kocherlball 2012

Kocherlball 2012; Picture source: Bbb auf wikivoyage shared

Normally, you go dancing in the evening and come back home early in the morning. Not so for participating in the traditional Kocherlball at the Chinese tower. This starts at 6am. Seems strange, but has it’s reasons.

In the 19th century, it was here were Munich’s domestic servants (cooks, errand boys, nursemaids, butlers,…) met Sundays for a dance. They only could do so in the early morning, because they had to work afterwards.

The event was forbidden by the authorities in 1904 justified on grounds of public morality and was only reintroduced in 1989 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the English Garden. And with success: Nowadays, it is the biggest folk dance event in Munich and attracts thousands of participants. The traditional dances practised here include Landler, Zwiefache, Polka and Boarische. And of course, for the real experience many people wear either traditional clothes (Dirndl and leather trousers) or costumes of the 19th century.

Who does not know the traditional dances should not be afraid: You can still take the chance to learn them in the free preparation course in the Hofbräuhaus on Thursday.

So it seems there are no more obstacles – apart from the though part of getting up early. Don’t go there too late: at 10am the party is already over.

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