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Trip to the
Georgi Ride!

What?

Visit to Traunstein for St Georgi Ride

When? / Where?

10 April 2023
(Easter Monday)

Language

English

Duration / Fee

6 hours
320 € (group)

Trip to the Georgi Ride!

Horses, pilgrims and sword dancers

Every year on Easter Monday it is time again for the Georgi Ride in the Upper Bavarian town of Traunstein: More than 400 festively decorated horses and carriages from the surrounding communities take part in the horse pilgrimage in honor of Saint Georg. The horses are imposing, elaborately decorated, wearing shiny harnesses and pulling floats and carriages. The procession on horseback ends with a field service and the blessing of the horses and riders. 
 

Let's go together to Traunstein to one of the biggest and most beautiful Georgi Rides in Bavaria. The excursion can be well combined with a visit to Lake Chiemsee, the largest lake in Bavaria. King Ludwig II once had Herrenchiemsee Castle built on one of the islands. On the other hand, Berchtesgaden with its salt mine, the Königssee with the spectacular mountain massif of the Watzmann or Salzburg in Austria are not far away.

 

One last anecdote: Georg is still a very popular first name for boys in the rural regions of Bavaria! With this name, you can take the first steps towards learning the Bavarian dialect. Georg becomes "Schorsch" or "Schorschi", which is pronounced softly.  

I look forward to seeing you!

St. George – A European saint!

The veneration of Saint George, who according to legend came from Cappadocia (historical region in Turkey) and is said to have suffered martyrdom around 303, spread to Western Europe via the Eastern Church. In Bavaria, the saint became popular mainly through the dragon-slaying legend and was often invoked as an emergency helper. 

The origin of the Georgi Ride of Traunstein, which was mentioned for the first time in 1762, presumably lies in a pagan medieval custom. In the early 20th century the historical sword dance was added. Its origins date back to 1530. This dance fell into oblivion, was re-choreographed in the 1920s, and since 1926 has been combined with the Georgi Ride to form a festival. In 2016, the Traunstein Georgi Ride, together with the historical sword dance, was included in the list of the intangible world cultural heritage in Bavaria.

April 23, Saint George's Day, was an important day for beer brewing in Bavaria!

Since the 16th century, it was forbidden to brew beer in Bavaria during the summer. This had to do with the Purity Law for Beer (Reinheitsgebot), which was enacted by the Bavarian ruler of the time and regulated beer brewing: The beer brewing ban only applied to bottom-fermented beer and to the period between April 23 and September 29. 
 

Today's tradition of the Maibock Festival goes back to this beer brewing ban. A Maibock is not an animal (Bock is German for ram. But actually the word "Bock" goes back to "Einbeck". The town of Einbeck exported its good beer as far as Bavaria in the Middle Ages!), but a strong beer tapped in the last week of April every year. The most famous Maibock Festival is the one in Munich's Hofbräuhaus, because it was once invented there!

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