Sunday, October 30, 2011

Celebrating the harvest

Harvest festival street display (All photos and text copyright to Eventful Woman, 2011)
Autumn wreath on doorway
The streets and doorways of Zell an der Mosel are filled with symbols and icons of the harvest thanksgiving, or Erntedank as it is known as here.

Erntedank starts on the 1st Sunday in October (for Catholics) and on the Sunday after Michaelmas (September 29th) for Protestants.  Vegetables, fruit and other harvest offerings have been a feature in most churches, although everyone seems to get in on the act whether in their homes, businesses or shops.

Harvest Festival display in Zell
Novelty chickens
Pumpkin orange is the predominant colour for the displays, which include vine leaves, scarecrows, kites, brooms, streamers, toy chickens and geese, lanterns and autumn wreaths. There are lots of pumpkins, of course. As the grape harvest is so important here, the Zeller Schwarze Katz (Zell's famous black cat) makes sure she does a 'guest spot' in the occasional display or in a shop window.

Can you spot the Zeller Schwarze Katz?

New wine and onion cake
Federweisser (new wine from the first pressing of the grapes) and zwiebelkuchen (spicy onion cake) are the big taste sensation of autumn and the harvest in Zell, and in other towns along the Mosel. I can see why zwiebelkuchen is a popular food for grape pickers. One bite of this tasty, nutritious, filling and savoury pancake/pizza, and I felt like I too could stride up the steep slopes of Zell's vineyards and pick grapes all day.  (TH says 'yeah, right' to this.)

Harvest setting in wine cellar

Zell had its Federweissenfest (new wine festival) on the first weekend of October, with music and dancing in the streets, and special tastings at vineyards and wine cellars. Nearby Cochem will have theirs on the first weekend in November. Each festival has its own Wine Queen.

Colourful doorway
Shop window (can you see the cat?)

The black cat has inspired a Halloween theme (in a wine shop)

Scarecrows are a popular icon of the harvest
The toadstools are so dangerous they have to put behind bars

Zebras? I guess everyone is entitled to their own ideas.
All photos and text copyright to Eventful Woman, 2011

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